Saturday 1411 – 14th July 2013
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Today I have been thinking about the marvellous speech that Malala Yousafzai made at the United Nations yesterday, on her 16th Birthday. I imagine that most people have heard of this girl from Pakistan or maybe I am being presumptuous?
In October 2012 Malala was shot in the head, at point-blank range, on a school bus by Taliban gunmen because of her campaign for girls’ rights. She lived in the Swat valley in Pakistan, an area where the Taliban had, at times, banned girls from attending school. Her father too was an educational activist and school owner so she obviously grew up strongly believing in the rights of everyone to education. She made her first speech about educational rights for all in 2008 at the age of just 10 or 11.
After she was shot the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility saying that she “is the symbol of the infidels and obscenity,” and said if she survived they would target her again. 6 days after the shooting she was flown to England to continue the treatment which had begun in Pakistan and she has now made this her home, along with her family. She is rightly credited with putting the spotlight on girl’s education, or lack of it , throughout the world where a quarter of young women have not completed primary school.
I will not write any more but will let Malala do the talking , something she does with great poise and power that belie her tender age.
If you click on the photo of her below it will bring you to a page where you can hear a short but powerful excerpt from her speech. At the bottom of this post is a link to the full 17-18 min speech.
I’ll leave you with these words of Malala’s –
“Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”
The world needs more inspirational people like her, or maybe like all of us because can’t we all be a little bit more inspirational?
I for one hope she is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, no-one deserves it more.
Malala’s full UN speech can be heard here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5X70VyjU0g
Saturday Girl signing off, see you next week.
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