Do many of you get up every day and complain about having to go to school?…… Because I can tell you I do! We get up everyday complaining about having to go to school and yet Malala gets up everyday fighting for the 57 million woman and children who are deprived of their education, that many of us take for granted, and Malala is trying to get it back.
Thinking of others above herself 11 year old Malala wrote a blog for the BBC Urdu detailing her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat. All the candidates refused to write the blog because of the risk of their safety from being exposed to who they were. But despite this Malala’s father recommended her to the producers of BBC news even with the fear of the Taliban attacking his family if they saw the blog. I think Malala was very brave to take the opportunity because of the threat that it would most probably have on her life. It would have been very scary but with the maturity of a woman well beyond her years, Malala thought of others and proved to the world that no matter where you are brought up, or in what conditions you live in, everyone can help make a difference if they truly believe in something strong enough.
As she got older Malala continued to become a Pakistani Activist for female education and the summer following the blog, journalist Adam B. Ellick made a New York Times documentary about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region. She rose to prominence, giving interviews on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by a fellow activist “Desmond Tutu”. Malala has become a very popular by just doing what she thinks is right. She doesn’t think she is doing anything prize worthy she is just doing what she believes needs to be done. I don’t know about you but I think it takes a huge amount of courage to talk to the President of the United States “Barack Obama” let alone remind him and discuss the problems in the world that need to be fixed.
When Malala was only 15 years old she was given an amazing opportunity to speak out about women attending school, but she did not realise the huge implications and snowball effect this would cause. Exposing herself and her identity as a woman education activist on worldwide TV is of grave risk, as the Taliban would not like it. The likelihood of getting killed or beaten just for speaking out was high. And as it turned out she was was an actual probability.
On October 9, 2012, as she was traveling home from school, Malala’s bus was stopped by two Taliban gunman. One gunman climbed onto the bus and asked the frightened students “Who is Malala?…..”, this simple sentence changed Malala’s life forever as after finding out who she was, the Taliban quickly fired 3 shots at Malala and two of her friends and then fled the scene with the other Taliban. One of the bullets hit Malala on the left side of her temple. Dr. Javid Kayani, Malala’s surgeon said “the fact that she didn’t die on the spot or very soon afterward is nothing short of a miracle”. A bullet traveling one thousand km per hour slips under Malala’s skin but as it heads towards her brain that bone turns out to be so strong and curved it forces the bullet to ricochet away and instead smashes her eardrum severs a nerve in her face and hits her shoulder.
You would think that she would be upset, fearful and disappointed at the person who attacked her after all of the surgery and intensive care she was put you through, but, in an interview on the Oprah Winfrey show Malala explains, “In order to go forward it is important to have love in your heart, and I want to have love in my heart, I don’t want to have any hate or any bad feelings in my heart and that’s what makes me happy. I believe that whatever happened bad or good it’s really important to focus on the future, learn from your past but in order to go forward, you have to focus on your future” I for one, think that in order to forgive and forget something like being shot you have to be an unbelievably strong person, especially knowing that it could happen again and still not being afraid. Malala teaches us that no obstacle is unbeatable and that if you work hard enough for something you believe in, you can get what you strive for. Nothing can hold you down unless you let it. In a brutal attempt to silence her the Taliban only made her louder.
“I am Malala,” she said. “I am those 66 million girls who are deprived of education. And today I am not raising my voice. It is the voice of 66 million girls.” This was what Malala said when she received the Nobel Peace Prize on December the 10th 2014. She also went on to say “It is not time to pity them”, “it is time to take action so it becomes the last time that we see a child deprived of education”. Malala knows what it’s like to be deprived of education, she knows how it feels to have everything ripped away from you as the town she grew up in ‘Swat Valley’ was in control of the Taliban for about 5 years for who deprived all females of education and their right to leave the house after turning 12 years old. In a time like that, think, would you want pity or would you just want your education back.
Even with all the popularity and attention at such a young age she still has the world in perspective and hasn’t lost sight of her goals and what she believes in. Malala is a young woman who has a great personality and a strong will to change the world. Amazingly against all the odds, step by step, she is completing her goal of getting women back into the local schools. What an incredible achievement for someone so young, I know Malala has got an amazing future ahead of her and “the sky’s the limit” for her and what she can achieve from here.