Birmingham & Black Country

'Proud Brummie' Malala Yousafzai portrait unveiled

Malala stands in front of the portrait Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Malala said she was "very grateful" for the support she had received in Birmingham

Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has said she is "proud to be called a Brummie" at the unveiling of a portrait in her adopted city.

The girls' education campaigner was flown to Birmingham in 2012 after she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman.

The 18-year-old has made the city her home since receiving treatment there.

Artist Nasser Azam revealed his 9ft 10in (3m)-high oil painting at the University of Birmingham.

More on this and other stories in Birmingham and the Black Country.

During the unveiling, at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Malala said she was "very grateful" for the support she had received in Birmingham.

"In terms of buildings you may not see a lot, but in terms of people, their love, their hearts, their passion, there's a lot of things," she said.

"Other than the cold weather I love this place, I am proud to be called a Brummie".

Image copyright Nasser Azam
Image caption Mr Azam said the painting took a year to produce

Artist Mr Azam, from Malala's home country of Pakistan, took almost a year to produce the painting of the schoolgirl.

It will be added to London's National Portrait Gallery's public archive, and digitally displayed at the Library of Birmingham.

Mr Azam said meeting Malala was "inspirational and an extreme honour".

He said: "In my portrait I have tried to provide an image of Malala that I felt captures a sense of our shared origins but also presents how she has become an international ambassador for human rights, and a face that is recognised the world over."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nasser Azam said meeting Malala was "inspirational and an extreme honour".

Malala first came to public attention through her anonymous diary, published on the BBC's Urdu website, in which she chronicled her desire for girls in Pakistan to have the chance of an education.

At the time, scores of girls' schools were being destroyed by militants in the Swat valley where she lived.

She survived being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in October 2012 and was eventually flown to the UK for treatment and rehabilitation.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for championing the right of all children to education.

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