Malala And Greta Thunberg Finally Met And Became Fast Friends
Malala Yousafzai said Greta Thunberg is ‘the only friend I’d skip school for’ after meeting her at Oxford University.
Thunberg, 17, and Yousafzai, 22, are arguably the two most famous activists in the world right now: the former focusing on the constant threat of climate change, the latter a human rights advocate and Nobel Prize laureate.
The Swedish teenager paid a visit to Lady Margaret Hall – where Yousafzai studies Philosophy, Politics and Economics – ahead of a school strike in Bristol this Friday, February 28. After pictures of the pair made their way online, people have dubbed their meeting an example of ‘pure inspiration and hope’.
Yousafzai posted a photo with Thunberg to her Instagram account, writing: ‘Thank you, @gretathunberg’ with a heart emoji. Thunberg later tweeted similar photos, writing: ‘So…today I met my role model. What else can I say?’
Both women became known at a young age. Thunberg’s rise to prominence – including becoming TIME‘s Person of the Year in 2019 – came as a result of her climate change campaigning, inspiring school strikes around the world after her Swedish parliament protest. She has since travelled the globe, appearing at conferences and condemning delegates for their lack of action.
In 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan while walking home from school. After recovering, she became a global symbol for women’s education and resilience, going on to become the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize, at the age of 17.
Others celebrated the pair’s meeting online, with one user writing: ‘Pure inspiration and hope – the world needs women like you.’
Jennifer Cassidy, a lecturer in Politics at the University of Oxford, also wrote: ‘I walk out my door, up one street and see @Malala and @GretaThunberg talking outside. Two powerful young women standing for justice, truth and equality for all.’
Even Piers Morgan, of all people, chipped in with praise, writing on Twitter: ‘What a photo… the two most influential young women of my lifetime meet in Oxford. More power to their formidable courageous elbows.’
After discussing their activist causes, Thunberg also spoke to university students about ‘science, voting, the limits of protest, divestment, real zero v net zero, and much more’ according to the university’s principal, Alan Rusbridger.
Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice – last year, it was awarded to Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia.
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