Malala Yousafzai, the young campaigner for girls’ education, has invited five inspiring girl champions to join her at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, a press statement from the Oslo-based Malala Fund said on Monday.
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For this first-ever Nobel Peace Prize ‘Girl Delegation’, Ms Yousafzai will be joined by Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz, her school friends from Swat who got shot along with her in an attack in 2012; Kainat Soomro from Sindh, Mezon Almellehan from Syria and Amina Yusuf from Nigeria. The young women will be her special guests when she receives the award at the ceremony to be held on Wednesday.
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“Though I will be one girl receiving this award, I know I am not a lone voice,” the statement quoted Ms Yousafzai as saying. “This Nobel Peace Prize is for all girls everywhere who want education. These courageous girls are not just my friends, they are now my sisters in our campaign for education for every child,” she added. Commenting on the invitation, Shazia Ramzan said: “I am very happy that Malala is receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.
This is an honour for Malala, for all Pakistani people and for education. Thank you, Malala, for letting us share this special moment with you, our friend.” Her friend Kainat Riaz said: “I am very excited that I am going to Oslo. I so wanted to be there when Malala receives the Nobel Peace Prize. I will always support her. This is a big honour for her, for us and for Pakistan.” On Oct 10, the Norwegian Nobel Committee named Malala Yousafzai and Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi as the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in recognition of their struggle against the oppression of young people. Ms Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of this honour at the age of 17. According to AFP, visitors to the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo can catch a reminder of the very different circumstances that led to Malala Yousafzai’s rise in the international spotlight.
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The centre has on loan the uniform the then 15-year-old Malala was wearing in 2012 when a Taliban militant shot her on a school bus in response to her campaign for girls’ education. “My school uniform is very important to me…. The day I was attacked I was wearing this uniform. I was fighting for my right to go to school,” she said in a statement as the uniform was handed over to the centre on Friday. “Wearing a uniform made me feel that yes, I am a student,” she said. “It is an important part of my life. Now I want to show it to children, to people all around the world. This is my right, it is the right of every child, to go to school.” She recovered after being flown for extensive surgery in England and has remained there with her family since — continuing both her education and activism. -dawn