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On the afternoon of 9 October 2012, Yousafzai boarded her school bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat. A gunman asked for her by name, then pointed a pistol at her and fired three shots. One bullet hit the left side of Yousafzai's forehead, travelled under her skin through the length of her face, and then went into her shoulder.


In 2014, Malala Yousafzai was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. The Norwegian Academy awarded them the prize "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education" At the age of 17, Malala became the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Prize.


The name Malala is a variant of Malalai, which means "sad, grieved" in Pashto. This was the name of a Pashtun woman who encouraged the Afghan forces during the 1880 Battle of Maiwand against the British. Another bearer of this name is Malalai Joya (born 1978), an activist, writer, and a former politician from Afghanistan.


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