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Let her fly

Let her fly
Academic Enrichment

We were delighted to welcome Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Malala, as one of our ‘Friday Series’ guest speakers.

His informal and conversational style of presenting put everyone at ease and he held the audience transfixed with a moving account of fatherhood and his lifelong fight for equality.

Seeing his sisters’ lives limited by a patriarchal society, Ziauddin rebelled against inequality at a young age, and founded a school for girls in his twenties. When he had a daughter himself, he vowed Malala would have the same access to education as the boys in their community. For more than 20 years, Ziauddin has been fighting for equality – first for Malala, for the girls of Swat Valley in Pakistan (where he lived) and subsequently for girls throughout the world.

And when, in October 2012, Malala was shot by the Taliban for continuing to attend her father’s school and campaigning for girls’ education, Ziauddin faced losing the very person for whom his fight for equality began.

Having relocated to Birmingham where Malala was treated for her injuries, Ziauddin and his family continued to campaign for equality and girls’ education. Malala went on to become the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and is now studying at Oxford University.


Ziauddin Yousafzai is an education activist, human rights campaigner and a teacher. He hails from Pakistan’s Swat Valley where, at great personal risk in an atmosphere of fear and violence, he stood up and peacefully resisted the Taliban’s efforts to shut down schools and limit their personal freedom. He continued his campaign for education after moving to the UK and as the co- founder of Malala Fund with his daughter Malala, he is building a global movement for girls’ education. Let Her Fly was his first book.

ABOUT LOUISE CARPENTER (co-writer of Let her fly)

Louise Carpenter is a British writer, working primarily for The Saturday Times Magazine. Her work has also been published in many other publications including Granta, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and Vogue and has been syndicated worldwide. She is the author of two non-fiction books, An Unlikely Countess: Lily Budge and the 13th Earl of Galloway and Ida and Louise. She lives in Somerset with her family.

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Let her fly