Malala Yousafzai graduated from Oxford University with a philosophy, politics and economics degree on Friday, nine years after being shot by the Taliban after campaigning for girls to be to be educated in her native Pakistan.
The youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, now 24, took to Instagram to share moving pictures of her graduation ceremony, which was initially due to take place in May 2020, but was delayed by Covid and moved to the Autumn of 2021.
Malala was seen posing in her hat and gown as she stood by the university, as well as alongside her proud parents Ziauddin Yousafzai and Toor Pekai Yousafzai and new husband Asser Malik.
It comes just months after the Taliban excluded girls from returning to secondary school and replaced Afghanistan’s women’s ministry with an all-male ‘vice and virtue’ department.
Malala Yousafzai graduated from Oxford University with a philosophy, politics and economics degree on Friday, nine years after being shot by the Taliban as she campaigned for girls to be to be educated in her native Pakistan
Sharing pictures on campus and surrounded by friends and family, Malala looked radiant and light-heartedly captioned the snaps: ‘Some Latin was said and apparently I have a degree’.
The post racked up over 600,000 likes and thousands of messages of congratulations from her followers.
Malala’s new husband also celebrated her graduation with two photos to Twitter, writing: ‘The place we first met felt a little more special on Malala’s graduation day’.
Malala was seen posing in her hat and gown as she stood by the university, as well as alongside her new husband Asser Malik
Malala shared a snap as she posed with her proud parents Ziauddin Yousafzai and Toor Pekai Yousafzai and wrote: ‘Some Latin was said and apparently I have a degree’
In September Islamists excluded girls from returning to secondary school in Afghanistan, but ordered boys and male teachers back to the classroom.
The hardline group ousted the US-backed government in August, promising a softer brand of rule than their repressive reign in the 1990s, when women were mostly banned from education and work.
But the diktat from the education ministry was the latest move from the new government to threaten women’s rights.
Ms Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman at the age of 15 after campaigning for girls to be educated in her native Pakistan.
Miraculously, she survived and was rushed to Britain for medical treatment, and continued with her extraordinary work. It culminated with Malala becoming the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2014, at just 17.
Her passionate beliefs on female equality were shaped by her father and fellow women’s rights advocate Mr Yousafazi, a former teacher who publicly spoke out against the Taliban and their attempts to close girls’ schools, even before she was shot by them.
July British Vogue cover star Malala previously told the publication she enjoyed ‘each and every moment’ at Oxford University including visiting McDonald’s and playing poker.
‘I was enjoying each and every moment because I had not seen that much before.’
She said she had ‘never really been in the company of people my own age because I was recovering from the incident, and travelling around the world, publishing a book and doing a documentary, and so many things were happening’.
‘At university I finally got some time for myself.’
Ms Yousafzai said her fame affected her schooling in Birmingham, where she was educated after leaving Pakistan.
‘People would ask me things like, ‘What was it like when you met Emma Watson, or Angelina Jolie or Obama?” she said.
‘And I wouldn’t know what to say. It’s awkward, because you want to leave that Malala outside the school building, you want to just be a student and a friend.’
This month Malala surprised her millions of supporters around the world by getting married in a small, moving ceremony at her Birmingham home.
This month Malala surprised her millions of supporters around the world by getting married in a small, moving ceremony at her Birmingham home
It is unknown how long Malala and Mr Malik have been dating but in June 2019, they were pictured together with a group of friends watching England play Pakistan at Edgbaston
The graduate previously spoke of her excitement for the ‘journey ahead’ after tying the knot with Pakistani cricket coach Asser Malik, thought to be in his thirties, in a relationship that had been kept secret from the wider world.
Malala shared sweet photographs from the Nikkah – Islamic marriage ceremony – where she wore a beautiful pink bridal outfit.
Malala captioned the photographs: ‘Today marks a precious day in my life. Asser and I tied the knot to be partners for life.
‘We celebrated a small nikkah ceremony at home in Birmingham with our families. Please send us your prayers. We are excited to walk together for the journey ahead.’
On his own Twitter post, Malala’s father said he and his wife were ‘overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.’ adding ‘Alhamdulillah,’ an Arabic phrase meaning ‘praise be to God.’
Malala and Asser’s relationship had been kept secret from the wider world.
The only hint of the blossoming romance came in July when Asser, the high performance manager of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), posted a birthday message to his future wife which read ‘Happy Birthday to the most amazing Malala’ alongside a photograph of the couple standing next to each other.
It is unknown how long Malala and Mr Malik have been dating but in June 2019, they were pictured together with a group of friends watching England play Pakistan at Edgbaston.
News of her wedding took social media by surprise, but tens of thousands of well-wishers including Jemima Khan, Greta Thunberg and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau sent messages of congratulations to the happy couple.
Malala was brought to the UK for specialist hospital treatment after Taliban gunmen shot her in the face while she was catching a bus to go to school in Pakistan nine years ago after campaigning for women’s rights