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Malala to become honorary Canadian citizen

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UNITED KINGDOM, Birmingham : Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai addresses the media in Birmingham, central England on October 10, 2014. The Nobel Peace Prize went Friday to 17-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai and India's Kailash Satyarthi for their work promoting children's rights. Seventeen-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai said she was "honoured" to be the first Pakistani and the youngest person to be given the award and dedicated the award to the "voiceless". "This award is for all those children who are voiceless, whose voices need to be heard," she said. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF
UNITED KINGDOM, Birmingham : Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai addresses the media in Birmingham, central England on October 10, 2014. The Nobel Peace Prize went Friday to 17-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai and India’s Kailash Satyarthi for their work promoting children’s rights. Seventeen-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai said she was “honoured” to be the first Pakistani and the youngest person to be given the award and dedicated the award to the “voiceless”. “This award is for all those children who are voiceless, whose voices need to be heard,” she said. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF

Malala Yousafzai will travel to Canada to become an honorary citizen, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday, the same day the 17-year-old education rights campaigner was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala was named an honorary Canadian a year ago and will visit the country on October 22 to receive citizenship, Harper said.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Malala, who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban, and to India’s Kailash Satyarthi, for championing children’s rights.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I want to congratulate Malala… and Mr Satyarthi for their wonderful work for humanity, for their tireless efforts in favor of children’s rights, and for bringing the causes they cherish to the attention of the whole world,” Harper said in a statement.

“I am also pleased to announce that Malala will be visiting us here in Canada on October 22, 2014. We look forward to pursuing our collaborative efforts on children’s education.”

Malala is only the sixth person to become an honorary Canadian; others include the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Malala, who had fought for years for the right of girls to education in her strictly Muslim home region in Pakistan, leapt to global fame after the Taliban tried to gun her down in October 2012.

She has lived in the English city of Birmingham since a successful operation following the attack.

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