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Runner-Up: Malala Yousafzai, the Fighter

Runner-Up: Malala Yousafzai, the Fighter

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At around 10:30 p.m., she got her wish. Ayesha’s father had just come home from work, and he handed her his BlackBerry. “She wants to speak to you,” he said. The voice on the phone was weak and cracked, but it still carried the confidence that Ayesha and millions of other Pakistanis had come to know through several high-profile speeches and TV appearances
At around 10:30 p.m., she got her wish. Ayesha’s father had just come home from work, and he handed her his BlackBerry. “She wants to speak to you,” he said. The voice on the phone was weak and cracked, but it still carried the confidence that Ayesha and millions of other Pakistanis had come to know through several high-profile speeches and TV appearances

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Published by: Joseph "Yosi" Fischer on Mar 01, 2013
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 637 S. Victory Blvd.| Burbank, CA 91502 | Phone: (818) 567-4400 | Fax: (818) 567-4401www.fhofficesystems.com 
Runner-Up: Malala Yousafzai, the Fighter
By Aryn Baker / MingoraDec. 19, 2012
Illustration by Sliman Mansour for TIME
 
Ayesha Mir didn’t go to school on Tuesday, Nov. 27, the day after a security guard found ashrapnel-packed bomb under her family’s car. The 17-year-old Pakistani girl assumed, as didmost people who learned about the bomb, that it was intended for her father, the television news presenter Hamid Mir, who often takes on the Taliban in his nightly news broadcasts.Traumatized by the near miss, Ayesha spent most of the day curled up in a corner of her couch,unsure whom to be angrier with: the would-be assassins or her father for putting himself indanger. She desperately wanted someone to help her make sense of things.At around 10:30 p.m., she got her wish. Ayesha’s father had just come home from work, and hehanded her his BlackBerry. “She wants to speak to you,” he said. The voice on the phone wasweak and cracked, but it still carried the confidence that Ayesha and millions of other Pakistanishad come to know through several high-profile speeches and TV appearances.“This is Malala,” said the girl on the other end of the line.Malala Yousafzai, 15, was callingfrom the hospital in Birmingham, England, where under heavy guard she has been undergoingtreatment since Oct. 16. “I understand that what happened was tragic, but you need to staystrong,” Malala told Ayesha. “You cannot give up.”
 
 637 S. Victory Blvd.| Burbank, CA 91502 | Phone: (818) 567-4400 | Fax: (818) 567-4401www.fhofficesystems.com 
It was one of the few times Malala had called anyone in Pakistan since she was flown to Englandfor specialized medical treatment after a Taliban assassin climbed onto her school bus, called outfor her by name and shot her in the head on Oct. 9. Her brain is protected by a titanium plate thatreplaced a section of her skull removed to allow for swelling. But she spoke rapidly to the older girl in Urdu, encouraging her to stand up for her father even if doing so brought risks. As anoutspoken champion of girls’ right to an education, Malala knew all about risk — and fear andconsequences — when it comes to taking on the Taliban. “The way she spoke was soinspirational,” Ayesha says. “She made me realize that my father was fighting our enemies andthat it was something I should be proud of, not afraid.” The next day Ayesha returned to school.And with that call, Malala began to return to what she seems born to do — passing her courageon to others.
Cover Photograph by Asim Hafeez
 
In trying, and failing, to kill Malala, the Taliban appear to have made a crucial mistake. Theywanted to silence her. Instead, they amplified her voice. Since October her message has beenheard around the world, from cramped classrooms where girls scratch out lessons in the dirt tothe halls of the U.N. and national governments and NGOs, where legions of activists argue ever more vehemently that the key to raising living standards throughout the developing world is theempowerment of women and girls. Malala was already a spokesperson; the Taliban made her asymbol, and a powerful one, since in the age of social media and crowdsourced activism, a parable as tragic and triumphant as hers can raise an army of disciples.(
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:The Other Girls on the Bus: How Malala’s Classmates Are Carrying On)She has become perhaps the world’s most admired children’s-rights advocate, all the more powerful for being a child herself. Her primary cause — securing Pakistani girls’ access toeducation — has served to highlight broader concerns: the health and safety of the developing

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