Malala narrates her love story and how she was wooed into marriage

01:55 AM | 13 Nov, 2021
Malala narrates her love story and how she was wooed into marriage

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel laureate who recently said she feared that marriage was not for her, now says she and her partner Asser Malik wed in a private nikkah ceremony in Birmingham on November 9. 

The girls’ education activist says she questioned the patriarchal roots of the institution of marriage, the compromises women make after marriage and how laws regarding relationships were influenced by cultural norms and misogyny in many corners of the world. She says she feared losing her humanity, independence and womanhood therefore she found her own solution to the problem – not getting married at all.

She says her conversations with her friends, mentors and her now partner Asser helped her consider how she could have a relationship – a marriage – and remain true to her values of equality, fairness and integrity. 

She told British magazine Vogue, “In the summer of 2018, Asser was visiting friends at Oxford and we crossed paths. He worked in cricket, so I immediately had a lot to discuss with him. He liked my sense of humour. We became best friends. We found we had common values and enjoyed each other’s company. 

“We stood by each other in moments of happiness and disappointment. Through our individual ups and downs, we talked and listened to each other. And when words failed, I sent him a link to our horoscope compatibility, hoping the stars could help reinforce our connection.” 

Malala continues, “In Asser, I found a best friend and companion. I still don’t have all the answers for the challenges facing women – but I believe that I can enjoy friendship, love and equality in marriage. So, on Tuesday, 9 November, we celebrated our nikkah at home with our families and closest friends in Birmingham.

“It was a small affair and group effort. My mother and her friend got my wedding clothes from Lahore, Pakistan. Asser’s mother and sister gave me the jewellery I wore. My father booked the food and decorations. My assistants organised photographers and a make-up artist. My three best girlfriends from school and Oxford took off work and travelled to be there. I put henna on my hands myself, after discovering I was the only one of my family and friends who had the talent! Asser spent several hours in the mall with me the day before the ceremony, buying his pink tie and pocket square and my sandals. My little brothers even wore suits.

“We were thrilled to share this joyful surprise with everyone who cares for us – and we are excited for the journey ahead.”