If there is a simple human decency that unites people around the world, Ziauddin Yousafzai embodies it. He spent 14 years running a school for girls in his native region of Swat, Pakistan. When the Taliban overran his hometown, he closed the school to keep his students – including his own daughter, Malala — safe. But he refused to leave. He did not want to hand over his beloved hometown to the Taliban.
“I must bring them out from that quagmire,” he told a documentary filmmaker in 2009. “This is my duty, and if I die for that, I think there is no chance for me to die better than this.”