Cours Fictions et réalités

Exercice - Malala Yousafzai


Read the article and answer the following questions. 


Malala Yousafzai visits hometown for first time since Taliban shooting 

Nobel peace prize laureate visited Pakistani town of Mingora, where she was shot by militants in 2012.

Malala Yousafzai has visited her hometown Mingora for the first time since she was shot on a school bus by a Taliban militant in 2012. The visit to Mingora was not officially scheduled but had been expected after security in the area was noticeably beefed up in recent days. Roads into the town were also blocked off early Saturday morning. Yousafzai, 20, was already a prominent advocate for girls’ education in October 2012 when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus in Mingora, asked “Who is Malala?” and shot her, along with two others. All three survived, but a bullet grazed Yousafzai’s brain and lodged in her neck. She received emergency care at army hospitals in Pakistan band was flown to Birmingham for further treatment, including skull reconstruction.

On Friday, Yousafzai told Geo TV she would not have survived without the quick response of Pakistani army surgeons and that she planned to return to the country after finishing her education. She is a student at Oxford University and said on Friday that the other two victims, Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz, had finished their schooling in Wales and were studying at Edinburgh University. Despite the danger, she continued her activism, blogging under a pseudonym for BBC Urdu and appearing in several videos for the New York Times before she was shot. Her attempted murder sparked a wave of revulsion in Pakistan and she said returning to the country on Thursday had been the happiest day of her life. Her surprise visit to the country has been widely celebrated but it also attracted criticism from fundamentalists who view her as an agent of western influence. She told Pakistani media that the majority of Pakistanis supported her activism. “Those who do criticise have an absurd kind of criticism that doesn’t make any sense,” she said in an interview with The News outlet. “What I want is people support my purpose of education and think about the daughters of Pakistan who need an education,” she said. “Don’t think about me. I don’t want any favour or I don’t want everyone to accept me. All I care about is that they accept education as an issue.”

Rather than silencing Yousafzai, the shooting turned her into a global icon for girls’ education. In 2014 she was awarded the Nobel peace prize, making her the youngest laureate in history. Her charity, the Malala Fund, has invested $6m (£4.2m) in schoolbooks and uniforms.

The  Guardian, March 31th, 2018

Question 1

Who is Malala and could she be defined as a “hero”?

Malala is a young woman who is known for her activism in favour of women education in Pakistan. Even if she was shot in the head by Talibans, she never stopped to raise her voice and continued to fight for women of all countries. Her bravery was rewarded by the Nobel Prize. 

She can be seen as a hero due to her determination to act for equality: she wants things to move and seems unstoppable. 

Question 2

How could you reformulate the following sentence: “Her attempted murder sparked a wave of revulsion in Pakistan and she said returning to the country on Thursday had been the happiest day of her life”? 

This sentence is related to the movement that was generated by Malala in her country : she brought a wave of hope. Nowadays, she represents a real and strong model for everyone. Furthermore, she is very proud to be able to come back in her country after a long period abroad. 

Take a dictionary if you need to! 

Question 3

Find a synonym for “Talibans” in the article.

Talibans are "part of a fundamentalist Muslim movement whose militia took control of much of Afghanistan from early 1995, and in 1996 took Kabul and set up an Islamic state. The Taliban were overthrown by US-led forces and Afghan groups in 2001 following the events of September 11." according to the dictionary. 

Since, "fundamentalists " is a relevant synonym that you can find in the article. 

Take a look in the middle of this article! 

Question 4

According to you, do the “living heroes” exist?  

The answer depends on your personal point of view

  • You can think that nobody's perfect and that Malala can't be a hero. 
  • You can also find in that young women a real hero of our time, who seems to be an example for everyone. 

A living hero is someone who is taken by example during his life. 

There isn't any perfect answer here! It's all about your definition of a "hero".