Daily Archives: December 10, 2014

Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi receive Peace Nobel in Oslo

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban for refusing to quit school, and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi received their Nobel Peace Prizes on Wednesday after two days of celebration honouring their work for children’s rights.

Malala became by far the youngest laureate, widely praised for her global campaigning since she was shot in the head on her school bus in 2012. Some groups in Pakistan, however, have accused her of being a puppet of the West and violating the tenets of conservative Islam.

“I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not,” said Malala, 17, better known by her first name, which is also the title of her book and the name of her foundation.

“It is the story of many girls,” she said in Oslo’s ornate city hall on the anniversary of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel’s death.

Although the focus was undoubtedly on Oslo on Wednesday, Nobel Prize winners in literature, chemistry, physics, medicine and economics were gathering in Stockholm, due to receive their prizes from the King of Sweden later in the day.

Satyarthi, who is credited with saving around 80,000 children from slave labour sometimes in violent confrontations, kept a modest profile in Oslo and even conceded to being overshadowed by Malala surrounded by admirers.

“I’ve lost two of my colleagues,” Satyarthi said about his work. “Carrying the dead body of a colleague who is fighting for the protection of children is something I’ll never forget, even as I sit here to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Arriving in Norway with friends and young activists from Pakistan, Syria and Nigeria, Malala met thousands of children, walked the streets to greet supporters and will open an exhibit where her blood stained dress, worn when her school bus was attacked, was put on display.

“She’s very brave and tough, fighting even after the Taliban shot her in the head,” said Andrea, 12, who was among thousands of children hoping to greet Malala in downtown Oslo.

The award could also help the Norwegian Nobel Committee repair its reputation, damaged by controversial awards in recent years to the European Union and U.S. President Barack Obama.

“I am pretty certain that I am also the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who still fights with her younger brothers,” Malala said. “I want there to be peace everywhere, but my brothers and I are still working on that.”

IT

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11 facts about Nobel prizes

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Alfred Nobel The Nobel prizes have been awarded 567 times to 864 laureates and 25 organisations between 1901 and 2014, with the youngest winner being Peace Prize awardee Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan at 17 years.

1/ By winning the Peace Nobel at this tender age along with India’s Kailash Satyarthi, Yousafzai beat the previous record of Lawrence Bragg, who won the Physics Nobel in 1915 at the age of 25.

2/ The average age of all Nobel Laureates in all prize categories between 1901 and 2014 is 59 years.

3/ Two most common birthdays among the Nobel Laureates are May 21 and February 28.

4/ The word “Laureate” signifies the laurel wreath awarded to winners of athletic competitions and poetic meets in Ancient Greece. In Greek mythology, god Apollo is represented wearing on his head a laurel wreath, a circular crown made of branches and leaves of the bay laurel.

5/ The statutes of the Nobel Foundation say, “If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation’s restricted funds.”

6/ On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace.

7/ In 1968, Sweden’s central bank Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Nobel. Leonid Hurwicz has the distinction of being the oldest Nobel recipient at the age of 90 for Economics in 2007.

8/ Till now, 47 women have won the Nobel while two Laureates declined the prize.

9/ Jean-Paul Sartre, awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature, declined it as he had consistently declined all official honours.

10/ Le Duc Tho, awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for negotiating the Vietnam peace accord, said he was not in a position to accept the award, citing the situation in Vietnam as his reason.

11/ Four Laureates were forced by authorities to decline the Nobel. Adolf Hitler forbade three Germans Richard Kuhn, Adolf Butenandt and Gerhard Domagk, from accepting the Nobel Prize. They, however, received the Nobel Prize Diploma and Medal later but not the prize amount.

IT

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