Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner, marries Asser Malik

November 10, 2021
Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner, marries Asser Malik
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Wedding bells are ringing for activist Malala Yousafzai. 

The 24-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate announced her marriage to partner Asser Malik on Instagram Tuesday. “Today marks a precious day in my life,” she wrote. 

“Asser and I tied the knot to be partners for life,” she captioned a pair of wedding photos of the newlyweds engulfed in fall foliage. For her big day, Yousafzai opted for a soft pink, jewel-encrusted gown and hijab, while Malik wore a classic black suit, with a satin pink tie. 

Yousafzai said they “celebrated a small nikkah ceremony,” a Muslim marriage ceremony, at their home in Birmingham, England surrounded by their families. 

“Please send us your prayers,” Yousafzai added. “We are excited to walk together for the journey ahead.”

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Yousafzai shared more photos on Twitter, including a photo of Malik signing their marriage contract and another photo of the happy couple posing with her parents, father Ziauddin Yousafzai and mother Toor Pekai Yousafzai.

On his own Twitter post, Yousafzai’s father said he and his wife were “overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.” He added, “Alhamdulillah,” an Arabic phrase meaning “praise be to God.”

The Malala Fund, a non-profit organization founded by Yousafzai and her father in 2013 to advocate for girls’ education, also sent the newlyweds a congratulatory note.

“We’re not crying. You’re — OK, we’re crying,” the organization tweeted. 

Yousafzai was the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2014, for working to protect children from slavery, extremism and child labor.

In her home country of Pakistan, Yousafzai was outspoken in insisting that girls have a right to an education. At age 15, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman while riding a school bus. She recovered and went on to fight against girls’ oppression worldwide.

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In July, Yousafzai opened up to British Vogue about her hesitancy around the institution of marriage, admitting that she didn’t “understand why people have to get married.”

“If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?” she said. “Even until my second year of university… I just thought, ‘I’m never going to get married, never going to have kids – just going to do my work.”

The activist said her perspective started to change as she continued her education at the University of Oxford, where she graduated in 2020 with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, thanks to some motherly advice.

“My mum is like, ‘Don’t you dare say anything like that! You have to get married, marriage is beautiful.’ ” she recalled. “I didn’t realize that you’re not the same person all the time. You change as well and you’re growing.”

Turns out her mother was right. 

Yousafzai and Malik received congratulatory messages from Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, actresses Reese Witherspoon, Priyanka Chopra and more.

Contributing: Brooke Lefferts

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