Two years and one day after the assassination attempt that nearly claimed her life, activist Malala Yousafzai has been honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. Yousafzai has been a vocal leader and an activist at the forefront of girls’ right to education in her home country of Pakistan. Even after an attempt was made on her life, Malala’s dedication grew stronger, and she has been able to travel the world and spread her message. Malala has spoken in front of the United Nations and has published a notable memoir detailing her life in Pakistan and her mission to spread equal access to education throughout the world. She’s even met with President Barack Obama and has criticized his drone policy, concerned that it “fuels terrorism.”

I became smitten with Malala after this interview, wherein she defied my cynicism that a true hero didn’t exist and revealed her great humility and graciousness in front of the entire world. While the entire interview is important, the following quote blew me away (and left John Stewart speechless).

In response to Stewart’s question of how Malala felt when she found out that the Taliban had made her a target because she’d been speaking to the public and press about the terrorism going on in their town, she said:

I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, ‘If he comes, what would you do, Malala?’ Then I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’ But then I said, ‘If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.’ Then I said, ‘I will tell him how important education is and that I even want education for your children as well.’ And I will tell him, ‘That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.’

Malala is the leader this world needs, and she’s certainly the one it wants.

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