An Inspiring Duo

Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai meet at Oxford University.

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Screenshot by Harper Sensiba

This picture taken at Lady Margaret Hall shows the two sitting side by side on a bench. Greta captions her Instagram post "so... today I met my role model. What else can I say?

Greta’s sign translates to “school strike for climate.”

On February 25, 2020, Global climate activist Greta Thunberg and education activist Malala Yousafzai finally met at Oxford University after years of mutual admiration.

Thunberg is a 17 year old Swedish Noble Peace Prize nominee who has led a huge climate change movement. She started her protest by leaving school lessons on Fridays to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament buildings, creating the hashtag “#FridaysForFuture.” Since then Thunberg has started a movement all over the world calling for action to address climate change. She has called out world leaders for jeopardizing the future of children around the world. Not only is Ms. Thunberg an inspiration due to her remarkable efforts in climate change protests, she is also an inspiration for millions of children who are on the autistic spectrum. She has also shared how her autism has enhanced her ability to fight against climate change and given her a unique ability to be different, special.

This picture posted on Instagram by Greta shows the two side by side.

Malala Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Pakistan, where she began at age 11 to fight for girls’ rights to education. Known to theh world simply as Malala, at the age of 15 she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in an effort to silence her activism for girls education after the Taliban banned girls from going to school. Malala, however, was not silenced. After her long recovery, which included extensive physical and speech therapy, she went on to create the Malala Fund, which helps bring a free 12-year education to girls all around the world. Malala continued her own education while she fought for girls’ education rights. She has met with world leaders, including former President of the United States of America Barack Obama, President of France Emmanuel Macron, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, along with many others. Malala has spoken at the United Nations, MA conference for women, and other locations. Malala won the 2014 Noble Peace Prize, becoming the youngest person ever to be awarded the coveted prize. Malala donated $50,000 of her prize money to rebuild a school in Gaza.

It is unknown what the two talked about during their time spent together, but it seems clear that a friendship was made. Thunberg captioned her Instagram post with Malala “So… today I met my role model. What else can I say?” The two have been following each other’s efforts in world issues for years, and each has been inspired by the other. Not only are they two very influential young women, they both are fearless and courageous when fighting for what they believe in. Both Malala and Thunberg have spoken out against government officials and stood up for millions around the world, regardless of what their critics said. These two young women have touched people all over the world and will continue to do so. Seeing Greta Thuberg and Malala meet peacefully together as friends at Lady Margaret Hall, at Oxford University, may well inspire people around the world to contribute to a cause they believe in, or become involved with or donate to The Malala fund and/or the FridaysForFuture.org.