Malala Yousafzai Jokes Greta Thunberg Is ‘Only’ Friend She’d ‘Skip School For’ as Pair Meet
The two young activists met for the first time at Oxford University, where Malala Yousafzai is currently studying
Two of the world’s most inspiring young activists are singing each other’s praises after meeting for the first time.
Greta Thunberg, 17, and Malala Yousafzai, 22, joined forces on Tuesday in England, posing for a pair of photos at Oxford University, where Yousafzai currently studies politics, philosophy and economics.
“So… today I met my role model. What else can I say?” Thunberg wrote on Twitter alongside two photos of the pair.
Yousafzai shared the snaps, too, first thanking Thunberg on Instagram, and later joking on Twitter, “She’s the only friend I’d skip school for.”
Thunberg rose to fame after skipping school to strike outside the Swedish parliament by herself in a climate change protest that went viral in August 2018.
Her activism has since taken on a life of its own, inspiring hundreds of similar climate strikes around the world as part of the Fridays for Future campaign.
On Tuesday, the pair visited Lady Margaret Hall, one of Oxford’s prestigious colleges, and Thunberg talked to students about “science, voting, the limits of protest, divestment, real zero v net zero” and more, Principal Alan Rusbridger wrote on Instagram.
Their meeting was celebrated on Twitter by fans like actress and director Elizabeth Banks, who wrote on Twitter: “Now this is OG #SquadGoals.”
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Thunberg wrote on Twitter last week that she was headed to England to take part in a school climate strike in the southwest city of Bristol on Friday.
She was previously praised by Yousafzai, a human rights activist who became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner at 17 years old in 2014.
“You don’t have to grow older to change the world, you can change the world right now,” Yousafzai said in December on A Little Late with Lilly Singh. “I think that’s the message that Greta is giving to young people around the world, that your voice, your activism, is so, so crucial for the change you want to see for your future.”
Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 after spending years championing girls’ education in her native Pakistan, started at Oxford in 2017, telling PEOPLE one year later that she was “really nervous” to start her studies.
“I was worried about how I would make friends. People knew me already and that was challenging for me to be there as a student and not to be there as a person who’s already known in the media,” she said. “But once I came, everyone here just welcomed me as a friend and I was just so happy that I am part of Oxford. I am just an Oxford student and I think that’s how they treat me.”