Conflict & Justice

Malala Yousufzai Reunited with Friend in UK

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Handout photograph of Malala Yousafzai walking with her father Ziauddin as she attends Edgbaston High School for girls in Edgbaston. (Photo: REUTERS/Edelman/Handout)

Perhaps you saw the clips Tuesday of Michelle Obama and Laura Bush at a women's conference in Tanzania.

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Without a doubt, by virtue of marriage, US first ladies figure among the most powerful women in the world.

But it was the image of two other women, in the past 24 hour news cycle, that seemed to capture a different sort of quiet power.

We are talking about the photo of Pakistani girl Malala Yousufzai, and a lifelong friend of hers, Shazia Ramzan.

Malala, as you'll recall, was the precocious campaigner for girls education in Pakistan who was shot in the head last October. Shazia was also wounded in the neck and shoulder by that attack.

Malala was airlifted to England for surgery, and she now attends a middle school there. Shazia was treated in Pakistan, but wouldn't go back to school after the attack.

She had been studying medicine.

Now, with help from charities and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Shazia has a student visa to the UK, and she'll continue her medical studies there.

That photo of Shazia and Malala, their smiles and how relaxed they sit with each other, belies the nightmares they've both lived through.

They're disarming, these charming young women.

And they should be. Their power comes from their experiences, as survivors, and relentless warriors for a cause they almost gave their lives for.