Malala Yousafzai isn’t just an activist, Nobel Prize winner, and heroic symbol of strength. She’s also about to finally receive her honorary Canadian citizenship thanks to another favorite of ours, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
On April 12, 2017, Malala will visit Canada to address parliament and receive the honorary citizenship, which was actually awarded several years ago. She was supposed to receive the citizenship honor in 2014 but that was canceled due to the National War Memorial shooting.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in Parliament next week. Will speak to members of House of Commons and Senate at noon ET
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) April 3, 2017
In a press release announcing the news, Trudeau heaped praise upon Malala and revealed that she will be the youngest person to address Canada’s parliament.
“Ms. Yousafzai’s courageous response to those who threatened her life, and her advocacy for girls’ education, has inspired many millions of people around the world,” he said. “Her story is one of determination and dignity, and Canada is proud to call her an honorary citizen of this great country.”
Malala also had praise for the Great White North, saying, “The people of Canada are leading the world in their response to the refugee crisis. I am honored by Parliament’s invitation and look forward to visiting this great nation of heroes.”
Canada and Malala have been at the forefront of efforts to assist Syrian refugees. While its neighbor to the south (ahem) has tried its best to keep Syrian refugees out, Canada has embraced them, even as there are still plenty of challenges facing the program.
According to the Prime Minister’s office, Malala will join an exclusive list of five others who have received an honorary Canadian citizenship: Raoul Wallenberg, Nelson Mandela, the 14th Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Aga Khan.