Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban when she was 14, met President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughter Malia in the Oval Office on Friday.
The first family invited Yousafzai, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this year but lost to the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), to the White House “to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan.”
The White House says in a statement that the United States “joins with the Pakistani people and so many around the world to celebrate Malala’s courage and her determination to promote the right of all girls to attend school and realize their dreams.”
After the meeting, the 16-year-old Pakistani advocate for girls education said in a statement that she was honored to meet the president but was concerned that his administration’s use of drones are “fueling terrorism.”
“I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees,” Yousafzai said, according to the Associated Press. “I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.”
Yousafzai also addressed the World Bank in Washington on Friday, to promote her new memoir, “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” which was released on Oct. 8, 2013.
“Malala’s courage and efforts are remarkable, and the president absolutely honors them,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney, after he was asked by ABC News Jonathan Karl if Yousafzai was snubbed by the Nobel Committee by handing the Nobel Peace Prize over to the OPCW.
"The award reinforces the international community's commitment to the international prohibition against the use of chemical weapons," Carney said. "One of the President's highest priorities is to prevent the proliferation or use of weapons of mass destruction. And this award honors those who make it their life's work to advance this vital goal."