One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.
As a child, I have never once thought that some people had to fight for the right to get an education. I came from an overly supportive family that ensured we read books, encyclopedias, played educational games, and performed exceptionally well at school. It was incredibly naive and foolish of me to think this was how all families wanted their young to be. Naturally, as I grew up and became more acquainted with the world, I realized this was far from true, especially in a country like Pakistan. And hearing about Malala’s case solidified my concerns; women were far more in danger than men were in receiving education.
From a young age, Malala was in conflict with Taliban over receiving education, as they deemed girls did not have the right. Even after receiving death threats, she continued to fight, “The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women.” Her passion for education has been a constant aspect of her life. Her stance is as follows:
“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
She continues to represent the underprivileged youth who do not receive education due to cultural, military or oppressive barriers. One of the most impressive things about her is her forgiving nature. She is an embodiment of integrity, honor and strength. One of her quotes that has forever resonated in me, “I don’t want revenge on the Taliban. I want education for sons and daughters of the Taliban.” It takes sheer courage and strength to let go emotions and forgive the one who brutally harmed such a humane figure. This is one of the reasons why Malala is such a monumental figure in my life.
She has gained recognition by the most influential figures around the world like the Obamas, Queen Elizabeth, and Justin Trudeau. Malala has the confidence to discuss her goals in front of massive audiences. She has eloquently conveyed her message of the importance of education for the young around the world, and not just Pakistan. She told the Queen she hoped to ensure that all children, even those in the UK, are able to go to school. As such, another quote stands out in my mind, when she stated, “Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”
Malala has even written her own book called “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.” Till date, I find myself reaching out for this book when I am in need of true inspiration.
Thank you for being all that you are Malala. Thank you for showing us girls what we’re capable of.