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Did You Know Who Malala Yousafzai is Named After?

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In her late teens, Afghan folk hero Malalai of Maiwand rallied Pashtun fighters against British troops at the Battle of Maiwand.



By Zoya Mateen, News18.com

We all know who Malala Yousafzai is.

The Pakistani activist who, while a teenager, spoke out publicly against the Taliban’s prohibition on the education of girls and has also survived an assassination attempt at the age of 15.

In 2014, Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace recognizing their efforts on behalf of children’s rights.

But do you know who she's named after?

July 27th marks the 138th anniversary of the historic Battle of Maiwand, a battle in which a brave young Pashtun girl name Malalai lost her life.

Malala Yousafzai is named after this brave heart who has become a legend in the history of Afghanistan.

In her late teens, Afghan folk hero Malalai of Maiwand rallied Pashtun fighters against British troops at the Battle of Maiwand.

She was a native of Khig, a tiny village on the edge of the Maiwand battlefield, and the daughter of a shepard.

British sources, unsurprisingly, do not mention Malalai. Her actions may not have been noticed by any of the British, or they may not have seemed as consequential as they were to the Afghans. Afghan women are very rarely mentioned at all in the reports and narratives of the war, although certainly her actions were enough to turn her into a national hero.

She is still revered till date with schools, hospitals and even a women's magazine named after her.

Along with Malala Yousafzai, activist Malalai Joya a rare female voice in post-Taliban Afghan politics is also named after Malalai of Maiwand. Joya is an activist, writer, and a former politician from Afghanistan. She served as a Parliamentarian in the National Assembly of Afghanistan from 2005 until early 2007, after being dismissed for publicly denouncing the presence of warlords and war criminals in the Afghan Parliament.

How appropriate, isn't it?

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