5 things to know about Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai (C), walks with Syrian refugees on her 18th birthday during the opening of the Malala Yousafzai All-Girls School built by the Kayany Foundation NGO, in Barr Elias, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai (C), walks with Syrian refugees on her 18th birthday during the opening of the Malala Yousafzai All-Girls School built by the Kayany Foundation NGO, in Barr Elias, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon PHOTO: EPA

Children's rights activist Malala Yousafzai turns 18 today. The youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner received her laureate in 2014, along with Kailash Satyarthi, 60, from India. 

On the eve of the ceremony, Malala said she would one day like to become Prime Minister of her country, Pakistan. 

In October 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taleban gunman on her way to school for arguing against the extremist group's ban on female education. She is hailed around the world as a champion of women's rights. Here are five things about her.

1. She received the Nobel prize when she was just 17, making her the youngest Nobel laureate ever. She currently lives in Britain.

2. Malala remembers nothing of her 2012 attack. In her autobiography I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taleban, she wrote that the last thing she remembered that Oct 9 was sitting with her friends on a bus as it rounded an army checkpoint on the way to school. Friends told her that a masked gunman came on board the bus, asked, "Who is Malala?" and then lifted a gun to her head and fired.

3. In a captivating speech she gave to the United Nations in 2013 to call for worldwide access to education, Malala said: "The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born."

4. July 12, 2013 - the day Malala spoke at the UN and also her birthday - was dubbed by the UN as Malala Day. It would be a day of global campaigning for a child's right to receive an education. This year, Malala Day was observed on July 14, 2014.

5. Young Pakistanis - including those from the urban, middle-class - once lashed out against Yousafzai on social media. Some labelled her "Malala Dramazai", and even suggested that she had staged the attack to gain fame.

This article was first published on Oct 10, 2014 and updated on July 13, 2015.