The Courage of Malala Yousafzai

Who is Malala Yousafzai?

Malala Yousafza, born 1998, is an eighth-grade Pashtun student from the town of Mingora in Swat District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, known for being a children’s rights activist. Her little town was dominated and controlled by the local Taliban, whom they’ve shut down local school for girls in her area. During those periods, young Malala, under the pseudonym “Gul Makai”, shared with BBC Urdu of the experience of her little town under the order of the Taliban.

Due to her courage and advocacy for the rights of Children and Education, The international children’s advocacy group KidsRights Foundation included Yousafzai among the nominees for the International Children’s Peace Prize, making her the first Pakistani girl nominated for the award. South African Nobel laureate Desmund Tutu announced the nominations during a 2011 ceremony in Amsterdam, Holland, but Yousafzai did not win the prize.

Today, Malala was shot in the head while she was heading to school by a Taliban Militant. Different stories recount that she was waiting for the school bus to arrive as the gunman was searching for her. Fortunately, her injury was not severe, and by the decree of the Pakistani government, she was transfered to a better hospital to be hospitalized and receive care. In addition, security measures were put in place to protect her against the Taliban, as they waged their threat towards her.

Significance of her Work

“Education is the fundamental right for every child” – Malala Yousafzai

After the closing of the schools in her town, through the help of a local BBC journalist, she blogged about the condition of her classmates and her fellow residents under the military operation of the Taliban. The blogs were published on BBC Urdu, shedding light to the reality and horrors of the rule under the Taliban regime. Given her courage and strength, she was nominated for multiple Peace Awards, one of which she was awarded within Pakistan.

What is amazing for me is the fact that a 14 year old has taken the initiative to rise against the outrageous and venomous conditions of her community. And after the removal of the Taliban rule in Pakistan, she returned to her school and resumed her advocacy publicly.

These are stories of true courage, this is the story of Malala Yousafzai

BBC Report
Interview with BBC (November 2011)

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