Thunberg took a brief pause from advocating for the environment and paid a visit to her role model at the University of Oxford, where the Pakistani human rights activist is a senior.
Remember that Avengers: Infinity War meme that went viral in 2018? The one where Twitter had a field day picking out "the most ambitious crossover event in history" and pretty much every pop-culture collaboration in history was nominated. Although none of us could agree on a clear winner at the time, yesterday, two of the most notable names of our time ended the competition once and forever. The worlds of 17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai finally collided on Tuesday when the two met for the very first time at the University of Oxford and we absolutely cannot keep calm.
According to BBC, Thunberg took a brief pause from advocating for the environment and paid a visit to her role model at the University of Oxford, where the Pakistani human rights activist is a senior. Thunberg, who is in the UK for a school strike planned for later this week, reportedly met up with Yousafzai at Lady Margaret Hall where the iconic pair seems to have pretty much fangirled over each other. Posting pictures of their meeting on social media, the Swedish activist wrote: So...today I met my role model. What else can I say?
Meanwhile, Yousafzai—who is studying politics, philosophy, and economics at the university—expressed similar admiration for her new friend, tweeting: She's the only friend I'd skip school for. Unfortunately, the pair haven't revealed details of what they discussed during their brief meeting. According to Alan Rusbridger, the principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Thunberg also met with few other students at the college, during which she spoke to them about "science, voting, the limits of protest, divestment, real zero v net zero, and much more."
She’s the only friend I’d skip school for. pic.twitter.com/uP0vwF2U3K— Malala (@Malala) February 25, 2020
Thunberg and Yousafzai's meeting had the internet squealing with delight as many praised the pair for being the "sheroes we need" today. Twitter user Stefan Reichwein wrote: Pure inspiration and hope - the world needs women like you. @DustyRanchHand tweeted: Strong young women that are making the world a better place. Thank you both! Greta and Malala! Awesome and inspirational! @IAmJulesWard praised the pair, writing: You both make me feel so much better about the future of the planet. I want to do everything I can to help make it better; you will be here long after I’m gone. Thank you for inspiring us all.
Teachers and students at the college also took to social media to recount the moment they saw Thunberg and Yousafzai together on campus. Jennifer Cassidy, a lecturer in politics at the University of Oxford, wrote: Reason unlimited why I love this place. I walk out my door, up one street and see @Malala and @GretaThunberg talking outside. Two powerful young women standing for justice, truth and equality for all. So many, are so grateful, for all that you do. Keep shining bright. A student named Laura shared a photo she managed to snap as the pair walked past her, tweeting: Everyone appreciate this photo of the literal Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg walking past me (front right) as I was on my way to lunch today. What the f**k.
everyone appreciate this photo of the literal malala yousafzai and greta thunberg walking past me (front right) as I was on my way to lunch today what the fuck pic.twitter.com/0ia6oxyOMu— laura (@_laurasellers) February 25, 2020
Although one of the most iconic meetings in history, it's no surprise that these two young women have sought out each other. Back in September, Yousafzai tweeted her support for Thunberg when the teen joined climate strikes in New York City. 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, the 22-year-old wrote at the time.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner also praised Thunberg—and the March For Our Lives movement founder, Emma Gonzalez—in a recent interview with Teen Vogue. "Sometimes in rooms with decision-makers, they don't have any young people at the table; they don't even have women, let alone young people. So just to have the voices of young people present there, just to have women being present at those tables, I think it's a huge difference," Yousafzai said. "And we have seen huge progress over the last few years, and now to see that young girls like Emma [González] and Greta are coming forward and they're talking about climate change, they are talking about gun violence, and they're talking about these different issues that are impacting all of us and especially what's going to affect the future generations."