Father of Malala, Ziauddin Yousafzai, on his mission for girls' education

Ziauddin Yousafzai is a UN special advisor for Global Education. Before he was forced to flee the country, he was also a long-time educator in Pakistan. (Getty Images/WPA Pool/David Jones)


Ziauddin Yousafzai, the proud father of Malala, says he saw something special in his daughter the moment she was born. He shares his story, his struggle for girls' rights, and his unapologetic encouragement of Malala.

"I am not only her father, I'm her friend. "

Ziauddin Yousafzai

We spoke with Malala Yousafzai in October, a year after a Taliban gunman sought her out on a Pakistan school bus and fired three shots. One bullet went into her forehead, but she not only survived, she flourished.


Ziauddin Yousafzai, with his daughter Malala. (Reuters/Darren Staples)

"My father was an example for me. And he is a great father because he says, 'I did not give you something extra. I did one thing, I did not cut your wings.'"

Malala Yousafzai

And Malala has a lot of respect for her dad. Mr. Yousafzai sat quietly by during our interview with his daughter, but when we spoke with him in March, he talked about what drives his passion for education:

Ziauddin Yousafzai is a United Nations special advisor for Global Education. He was also a long-time educator in Pakistan before he was forced to flee the country. He joined us in our Toronto studio.

This interview originally aired on March 20, 2014.

Do you have thoughts on our conversation with Malala's father?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.

Listen to our October 2013 interview with Malala Yousafzai:

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education
and Was Shot by the Taliban

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