Malala broke down in tears as she returned to Pakistan for the first time since being shot by the Taliban five years ago.
The 20-year-old Nobel laureate told an audience how she had longed to be back in Islamabad as she promoted her message of education for girls around the world.
As the reality hit home, Malalas usual composure vanished.
Her lip quivered and she cupped her hands over her face to hide the tears.
I was always dreaming for the past five years, that I can come to my country, whenever I was traveling abroad, she said. Finally, I am here.
Accompanied by her parents, Malalas four-day visit is heavily protected and shrouded in secrecy.
In October 2012, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban assassin who jumped inside her school bus and yelled, Who is Malala?
She was targeted for speaking out on education in her home of Mingora in the Swat Valley.
Since her attack and recovery, she started the Malala Fund, which has invested $6 million in schools, providing books and uniforms for schoolchildren.
She became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Her first meeting in Pakistan was with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, with the government later touting her visit as a sign that violent militancy has been defeated in the Islamic nation.
Abbasi praised Malala for her sacrifices and activism. He said he was happy to welcome her home, where he said terrorism has been eliminated – a line often repeated despite persistent militant attacks in the country.