The amazing story of the teacher who had tea with the Taliban

An Afghan teacher who confronted Taliban militants has been awarded a prestigious global award in recognition of her humanitarian work.

At a ceremony in Doha, Qatar, yesterday, Sakena Yacoobi, 65, was named this year's World Innovation Summit for Education Prize laureate before an audience that included the US First Lady, Michelle Obama, and the Qatari Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.

The award, established by the Qatar Foundation, is seen as the equivalent to a Nobel Prize, and brings with it a $500,000 (£325,000) donation to the winner's causes.

What began as a network of secret safe houses for learning is now the Afghan Institute of Learning, with 306 teaching centres, four health clinics and a hospital. The educator has also set up a radio programme that relays her lessons to 12 million listeners.

One such example of her bravery was when a group of armed men turned up at Ms Yacoobi's school and she came out to greet them and defend her practice. Inviting the group of Taliban members to sit down for a cup of tea, she eventually convinced them to leave the school in peace.

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