Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has taken a break from her classes to meet with teenage activist Greta Thunberg.
The young women, who campaign on global issues climate change and women’s education, smiled in a snap taken of them sat on a bench at the University of Oxford.
Malala is a student at the university and she and Greta found time to chat ahead of the climate activist’s appearance at a school strike in Bristol on Friday.
Malala Yousafzai, 22,took a break from her classes at the University of Oxford to meet with climate chnage activist Greta Thunberg, 17, on Tuesday
The 22-year-old posted a photo on Instagram of herself and Greta with their arms around each other, writing caption: ‘Thank you, @gretathunberg’ and a heart emoji.
She also shared the picture on Twitter, writing to her 1.5million followers: ‘She’s the only friend I’d skip school for’.
Greta was also happy with the meeting, calling Malala ‘a role model’ and sharing snaps of their time together. She wrote: ‘So… today I met my role model. What else can I say?’
Greta, 17, is in the UK to join the school strike on Friday. She became a well-known name after skipping school in Sweden to protest against climate change.
Malala, who now studies Philosophy, Politics and Economics, was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan for campaigning for girls to be allowed to go to school.
In 2014, Malala became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy of education. She became a global symbol of the resilience of women in the face of oppression.
Dozens of people, inclusion politics lecturer Dr Cassidy, took to Twitter to praise the two young women activists after their meeting
Greta also posted a picture of her meeting at Oxford on Tuesday, calling Malala ‘a role model’
Greta could soon join Malala, as she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 and 2020. The winner is set to be announced later this year.
After their meeting today dozens of people took to social media to say they were excited about the women meeting in person.
One wrote: ‘You Greta and Malala should be heading world leaders. The world would be a kinder safer place.’
While someone else wrote: ‘Greta and Malala met at Oxford today, proof that your age, situation or background should not hold you back from helping to make a better world.’
Malala praised Greta in September for her work in bringing awareness to climate change through school strikes, but this is thought to be the first time the pair have met in person.
The Nobel Prize winner tweeted: ‘I’m so happy to see that young women around the world are leading the climate movement. Thank you to girls like @GretaThunberg for using your voice, speaking truth to power — and encouraging other young people to do the same.’
Greta, now 17, also addressed United Nations Climate Change summits in 2018 and 2019 as part of her campaign to raise awareness over global warming.
Last year she became Time magazine’s youngest ever Person of the Year after regularly trading barbs with US President Donald Trump.
Ina abook, being serialised by The Observer, Greta’s family have revealed how the teenager became involved with climate change campaigning.
Mother Malena Ernman said her daughter became unwell aged 11 and struggled with autism and an eating disorder.
Psychiatrists diagnosed Greta with autism, which Ms Ernman described as ‘high-functioning Asperger’s’, as well as obsessive compulsive disorder.
She wrote: ‘She [Greta] was slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness. She stopped playing the piano. She stopped laughing. She stopped talking. And she stopped eating.’
Greta Thunberg addressed the United Nations Climate Change summits in 2018 and 2019 as part of her campaign to raise awareness over global warming (pictured in Hamburg on Friday)
However Ms Ernman told of how Greta’s epiphany over the climate crisis shifted her mood and how after watching a film in class about rubbish in the oceans, she became gripped with concern.
Describing how her daughter then planned a climate-change strike from school, Ms Ernman wrote: ‘Svante [Greta’s father] has promised to take her to a building supplier’s to buy a scrap piece of wood that she can paint white and make a sign out of it.
‘“School Strike for the Climate” it will say. And although more than anything we want her to drop the whole idea of going on strike from school – we support her.
‘Because we see that she feels good as she draws up her plans – better than she has felt in many years. Better than ever before, in fact.’