Malala Yousafzai becomes honorary Canadian


The youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yosafzai, brave Pakisttani activist is now a honorary Canadian citizen.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sofie Trudeau, cabinet ministers and diplomats, greeted Yousafzai on the steps of the Centre Block.

Trudeau presented her with a certificate documenting her as a honourary Canadian, only the sixth person to receive the honour and the youngest ever.

On the afternoon of 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was injured after a Taliban gunman attempted to murder her. Yousafzai remained unconscious, in critical condition at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK. The murder attempt sparked a national and international outpouring of support for Yousafzai. Deutsche Welle wrote in January 2013 that she may have become "the most famous teenager in the world." Weeks after her murder attempt, a group of fifty leading Muslim clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her.

Trudeau called Yousafzai an inspiration. “The violence you survived at the hands of the Taliban didn’t deter you as it would have for so many others. Rather, you stood even stronger in the face of oppression, your passion for your justice only intensified.”

The 19-year-old Malala is in Ottawa.

“It’s not just honourary citizenship of Canada, but it is also being Canada’s friend and I warmly accept it. And I want to thank Canada for its passion, for girls’ education, for its passion for humanity for refugees and for standing up for women’s rights and for peace.”

Malala also addressed MPs and senators in a joint session of Parliament, becoming the youngest person ever to that as well.