Hope of Education : Malala Yousafzai
Hope of Education : Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai ,born 12 July 1997 is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in history. She is known for her education and women's rights activism in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school . In early 2009, at the age of 11/12, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. Yousafzai began to rise in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television and taking a position as chairperson of the District Child Assembly Swat. She has since been nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize by and has won Pakistan's first National Youth Peace Prize. She was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and is the youngest nominee in history.
On 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus.In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to a hospital in the United Kingdom for intensive rehabilitation. On 12 October, a group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her,but the Taliban reiterated its intent to kill Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin.
Former British Prime Minister and current U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown launched a United Nations petition in Yousafzai's name, using the slogan "I am Malala" and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015. Brown said he would hand the petition to Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari in November. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has announced that 10 November will be celebrated as Malala Day.
Malala Yousafzai was born into a Muslim family of Pashtun ethnicity in July 1997 and given her first name, Malala, meaning "grief stricken", after Malalai of Maiwand, a Pashtun poetess and warrior woman. Her last name, Yousufzai, is that of a large Pashtun tribal confederation that is predominant in Pakistan's Swat Valley, where she grew up. At her house in Mingora, she lived with her two younger brothers, her parents, and two pet chickens. She affectionately referred to the region as "my Swat."
Yousafzai was educated in large part by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who is a poet, school owner and an educational activist himself, running a chain of schools known as the Khushal Public School, named after a famous Pashtun poet, Khushal Khan Khattak.She once stated to an interviewer that she would like to become a doctor, though later her father encouraged her to become a politician instead. It has also been indicated that she may have wanted to be a pilot. Ziauddin referred to his daughter as something entirely special, permitting her to stay up at night and talk about politics after her two brothers had been sent to bed.
Yousafzai apparently started speaking about education rights as early as September 2008. Her father took her to Peshawar to speak at the local press club. "How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?" Yousafzai told her audience in a speech that was covered by newspapers and television channels, throughout the region
At the beginning of 2009, Yousafzai had a chance to write for BBC Urdu when her father, Ziauddin, was asked by Abdul Hai Kakkar, a BBC reporter out of Pakistan, if any women at his school would write about life under the Taliban. At the time, Taliban militants led by Maulana Fazlullah were taking over the Swat Valley, banning television, music, girls’ education, and women from going shopping. Bodies of beheaded policemen were hanging from town squares.At first, a girl named Aisha from her father's school agreed to write a diary, but then the girl's parents stopped her from doing it because they feared Taliban reprisals. The only alternative was Yousafzai, four years younger than the original volunteer, and in seventh grade at the time. Editors at the BBC unanimously agreed.It is unclear whether Yousafzai or her father first suggested that she write for the BBC.
“We had been covering the violence and politics in Swat in detail but we didn’t know much about how ordinary people lived under the Taliban,” Mirza Waheed, the former editor of BBC Urdu, said. Because they were concerned about Yousafzai's safety, BBC editors insisted that she use a pseudonym. Her blog would be published under the byline "Gul Makai" ("corn flower" in Urdu),a name taken from a character in a Pashtun folktale.
On 3 January 2009, Yousafzai's first entry was posted to the BBC Urdu blog that would later make her famous. She would hand-write notes and then pass them on to a reporter who would scan and e-mail them.
Malala Yousafzai's BBC blog entries :
" I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taleban. I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. My mother made me breakfast and I went off to school. I was afraid going to school because the Taleban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools.
Only 11 pupils attended the class out of 27. The number decreased because of Taleban's edict. My three friends have shifted to Peshawar, Lahore and Rawalpindi with their families after this edict.
On my way from school to home I heard a man saying 'I will kill you'. I hastened my pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else over the phone."
Malala Yousafzai, 3 January 2009 BBC blog entry
" It seems that it is only when dozens of schools have been destroyed and hundreds others closed down that the army thinks about protecting them. Had they conducted their operations here properly, this situation would not have arisen."
Malala Yousafzai 24 January 2009 BBC blog entry
"People do not leave their homeland on their own free will – only poverty or a lover usually makes you leave so rapidly."
Malala Yousafzai 9 February 2009 BBC blog entry
" O God bring peace to Swat and if not then bring either the US or China here."
Malala Yousafzai quoting her younger brother, 3 March 2009
"I have a new dream … I must be a politician to save this country. There are so many crises in our country. I want to remove these crises."
Malala Yousafzai Class Dismissed (documentary)
"My purpose is to serve humanity."
" I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right."
Malala Yousafzai envisioning a confrontation with the Taliban
" Every girl in Swat is Malala. We will educate ourselves. We will win. They can't defeat us."
Classmate of Yousafzai ARY Digital
Malala Yousafzai is undoubtedly a symbol of hope and courage.
A grand Salute to Malala Yousafzai !!
- Rishabh Shukla
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