Four years ago, Ahmad Nawaz and his younger brother, Haris, were in for just another day of school. On December 16, 2014, their school in Peshawar, Pakistan, was attacked by the Taliban terrorist group.
About 150 students were brutally massacred. Haris was one among them. Ahmad suffered serious bodily harm and was forced to fake his death in order to survive and escape.
His injuries were so severe that the treatments he needed were not available in Pakistan. The Pakistani people supported him, demanding that his government send the young man to the United Kingdom to be properly treated.
Ahmad was received at Queens Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. The surgeries were a success, but the trauma suffered by Ahmad and the Nawaz family was inevitable. Together, they decided to continue their lives in the UK.
Ahmad's studies continued at King Edwards School. In order for the attacks like the one he suffered would not happen again, the young man decided to do something. For Ahmad, the fact that he and his friends were attacked in a school only had one meaning: the terrorists wanted to hinder their access to education.
Ahmad Nawaz believes that the strength of society lies in the education of the younger generations. According to him, to make this a more peaceful world, the only way to defeat terrorism is by creating the opportunities that all children need. In the United Kingdom, Ahmad felt loved and in 2015, he began his campaign.
At the time, his new country faced a huge problem: children were fleeing to join terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq and other countries. Ahmad wanted to speak to the students directly.
He did it in several schools, colleges and universities, including Eton College and Cambridge University. He encouraged students to become changemakers, reminding them of the excellent opportunities that the UK offered them. The campaign was considered a success and his efforts were recognized.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, invited Ahmad Nawaz to London to meet him and thank him publicly. The young activist for peace and education was invited to speak at several meetings, including the House of Lords, and at various other events. Many of them alongside Malala Yousafsai - Nobel Peace Prize laureate - both to speak for the right to education.
Ahmad Nawaz is currently the ambassador of the Anne Frank Organization and the Oxford Foundation, as well as being a Global Youth Ambassador of the World Merit Organization. In 2018, he launched a joint campaign with the UK government.
Called 'ACT', his latest campaign wants to encourage people to 'to speak out'. He is also working with the UK Government and Home Office on different projects.
Ahmad Nawaz is hoping to expand his message of education to other parts of the world and is enthusiastic to continue all his social work with an even stronger determination alongside his studies at school.
- UK and Europe young person of the year award.
- Officially awarded by the Mayor of Birmingham for his work in the UK.
- Award of Bravery and Resilience by the Government of Pakistan.
- Honorary lifetime ambassador with the Anne Frank trust.
- And many other awards by local communities.