In Malala's hometown, pride over young Nobel peace laureate

Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:05pm EDT
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By Mehreen Zahra-Malik

MINGORA Pakistan (Reuters) - Hours after Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, people in her hometown in Pakistan erupted in joy that a young woman from their conservative society had won global recognition for fighting for women's right to education.

Malala, 17, and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner, jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, a symbolic win for both nuclear rivals, India and Pakistan, at a time of growing tensions between the two neighbors.

Malala became globally known in 2012 when Taliban gunmen almost killed her by shooting her in the head for her passionate advocacy of women's right to education.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, prompting people in her native Pakistani valley of Swat to celebrate. Many saw her as a woman who had become an icon for the global fight to give women more rights.

"This is a moment of great honor for us, and the people of Swat and the people of Pakistan," said Tariq Khan, a medical official, as he bought dry fruit at a brightly lit shop in the main bazaar of Mingora, Malala's home town.

Mingora, a small town in the picturesque valley in northwestern Pakistan, is surrounded by lush rolling hills and soldiers standing guard at sand-bagged checkpoints.

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