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Malala Yousafzai meets Obama family in Oval Office

Pakistani schoolgirl campaigner Malala Yousafzai has met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in the Oval Office.

The First Family thanked Malala Yousafzai, 16, who was shot in the head last year by the Taliban, for her “inspiring and passionate work” for girls’ education.

Malia Obama, 15, also attended the meeting.

The White House said the US celebrated Malala Yousafzai’s courage and determination to promote girls’ right to attend school.

Malala Yousafzai has met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in the Oval Office

Malala Yousafzai has met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in the Oval Office

“As the First Lady has said, <<Investing in girls’ education is the very best thing we can do, not just for our daughters and granddaughters, but for their families, their communities, and their countries>>,” the White House said in a statement.

On Thursday, Malala Yousafzai was awarded the EU’s Sakharov human rights prize. Although she had been tipped for the Nobel Peace Prize, on Friday that went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the body overseeing the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal.

A native of Pakistan’s mountainous Swat Valley, Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence in 2009 after writing an anonymous blog for the BBC Urdu service about her life under Taliban rule and the lack of education for girls.

Malala Yousafzai’s name became internationally known after the Pakistan army pushed the Taliban out of the area in 2009.

The Taliban’s Islamist doctrine puts harsh restrictions on women’s rights and one of the militants shot her last year as she was riding in a bus with school friends.

After the attack, Malala Yousafzai was flown to the UK for medical treatment and now lives in Birmingham, where she is going to school.