We became friends and she’s kept me in the Facebook loop as she struggles to keep her students from being snatched by Taliban forces looking for little soldiers as they try and make their way to the classroom.
Over the years her students have written letters to mine detailing their love of learning. I think their passion for education began with their parents and teachers, but was intensified by all the days their school had to close due to terrorism.
Malala’s story has given me a clear picture of what my friend has had to live with as an educator.
"Exactly 12 months ago, Malala Yousafzai was in the back of an open truck on the way home from school when a Taliban gunman asked for her by name and shot her in the head," according to The Telegraph of London.
Malala is the youngest ever to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, for her efforts to bring attention to the struggle for women's rights in her homeland.
This week she was on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart talking about the fact that the experience has not stopped her from spreading the word globally that the way to fight terrorism is not with violence but with education.
Most stories about Malala take time to lament failing education systems, poor standardized test scores, and student apathy and compare this young girl's dedication with learning to her often lackluster counterparts in other nations' classrooms.
The Telegraph in London ran the headline, "Malala Yousafzai's desire to learn shames our schools."