Obamas welcome Malala to Oval Office to celebrate her courage

This official White House photo shows President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taleban a year ago, in the Oval Office, on Oct 11,
This official White House photo shows President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taleban a year ago, in the Oval Office, on Oct 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle welcomed Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai to the Oval Office on Friday.

On the day she was passed over for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Obamas hailed Malala, 16, for her "inspiring and passionate" work on behalf of girls in Pakistan.

"The United States joins with the Pakistani people and so many around the world to celebrate Malala's courage and her determination to promote the right of all girls to attend school and realise their dreams," a White House statement said.

"We salute Malala's efforts to help make these dreams come true."

The 16-year-old, who was shot by the Taleban for championing girls' right to an education, was overlooked for the prize, with the Nobel committee instead honouring the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.