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The Making of a Cultural Icon

How Malala became an international hero.

Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images
Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Reactions to the shooting of Malala Yousafzai have continued, with everyone from Madonna to the Taliban weighing in. 

  • Authorities in Malala’s native Swat Valley are renaming a government college after her, and the Pakistani government will now call its official youth peace award the "National Malala Peace Prize."
  • Zaki Sayed, a 24-year-old Pakistani-American sociology student, wrote a rap song in honor of Malala. "And when Malala bleeds the whole country bleeds, because she represents the seed of what we need — so many mouths and minds to feed," he sings. 
  • Pop star Madonna dedicated a song to Malala and then performed a striptease that culminated in her revealing the Pakistani girl’s name emblazoned on her back. 
  • Tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition to award Malala the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, supported by everyone from actress Angelina Jolie to Richard Dawkins. 
  • Taliban supporters, eager to blame the United States for the attack, circulated a picture on Facebook of President Barack Obama laughing with his staff, accompanied by the caption "Sir, they still believe that Taliban attacked Malala."

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