Cover Malala ties the knot with her new husband in the UK (Photo: @Malala/ Twitter)

Malala Yousafzai, Nobel laureate and female education activist just got married to husband Asser Malik

Activist and Nobel peace prize winner, Malala Yousafzai announced her marriage to sports entrepreneur Asser Malik on November 9, sharing the good news on her social media pages.

“Today marks a precious day in my life,” she wrote, “Asser and I tied the knot to be partners for life.” 

Malala became the youngest Nobel peace prize winner in 2014 at age 17, two years after she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 for campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan. Now aged 24, the activist lives in Britain and held her wedding in Birmingham. 

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“We celebrated a small nikkah ceremony at home in Birmingham with our families,” the post continues. In the photos, Malala is seen wearing a gold and crimson head scarf, matching the golden autumn leaves in the backdrop. “Please send us your prayers,” Malala concludes in her social media posts, “We are excited to walk together for the journey ahead.”

The news of the wedding may come as a shock to many as it wasn’t too long ago that the Pakistani activist spoke hesitantly on the topic of marriage. In her June 2021 cover interview with Vogue UK, she said “I still don’t understand why people have to get married. If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?” But by the end of the interview, Malala does hint that she has become more open to the idea since the second year of university, and to the possibility of life beyond her career and family. 

Whether or not that’s when Malala’s new husband, Malik, came into the picture is unclear, but we do know the pair have known each other for a while according to a group selfie posted in June 2019. In it, Malala, Malik and a few friends are seen at Edgbaston Stadium rooting for Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-finals against New Zealand. 

Who is the man who changed Malala’s mind on marriage? An entrepreneur and huge cricket lover—with connections with famous Pakistani celebrities. According to his Linkedin, he’s based in Pakistan and is a franchise owner of Last Man Stands, an amateur cricket league; as well as being the general manager of Pakistan Cricket Board. 

Educated in Pakistan, he participated in theatre and even brought theatrical performances to University College London (UCL) and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to raise funds for flood victims. On his Instagram, Adnan Malik, a Pakistani film star and WWF Goodwill ambassador is also seen commenting on his posts. 

The surprise announcement of the wedding seems to echo a line in her interview with Vogue, “I didn’t realise that you’re not the same person all the time. You change as well and you’re growing.”

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