Friday, October 17, 2014

Malala Yousafzai is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!

In July 2013, Yousafzai addressed the United Nations, telling delegates that the Taliban "thought that bullets would silence us, but they failed.
"The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions," she said defiantly, "but nothing changed in my life, except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born."--Scott Neuman
I am in the middle of reading I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.  So, I was excited when I found out that she was being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

She is one of the most amazing teenage girls I have ever seen.  Men and women alike fear the Taliban, yet Malala stood up to them at a young age.  She was shot for that courage, but survived to continue the fight for girls and women's rights to be educated.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee had this to say:
Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls' rights to education.
Malala is the youngest ever to receive the award.  NPR had this to say:
Yousafzai, 17, defied the Taliban in her town of Mingora in Swat Valley, near the volatile western frontier dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan. In October 2012, Taliban militiamen boarded a school bus she was on, singled her out and shot her in the left side of the head. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack.

Left in critical condition, Yousafzai received an outpouring of international support and was moved to the U.K. for treatment.
"Malala battled for her life, and came back to become an international ambassador for the rights of girls to be educated," NPR's Julie McCarthy says.

She is a previous recipient of the Sakharov Prize and was first nominated for the Peace Prize last year. She now lives in Birmingham, England, but the Taliban have threatened to target her again.
Malala is sharing the prize with Kailash Satyarthi.  The ironic part is that Malala is from Pakistan and Kailash is from India, two countries that have been at odds for a long time.

Time Magazine had this to say:
The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced on Friday.

Both Satyarthi, a 60-year-old Hindu from India, and Yousafzai, a 17-year-old Muslim from Pakistan, are renowned children’s rights activists. Malala became a household name around the globe when, in October 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban assassin while on her way to school. The young girl had been an outspoken advocate of girls’ education before the shooting. Afterward, she became an international beacon for the cause and was chosen as TIME’s runner-up for Person of the Year in 2012. She was later named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People. Now, at age 17, she is the youngest-ever Nobel Laureate.

For Yousufzai, who continues to receive threats from the Pakistani Taliban who attempted to silence her demands to be educated two years ago, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize offers no better, and no louder, rebuttal.
Malala has a bright future ahead of her.  I imagine that maybe some day, it is possible that she can break barriers and become the Prime Minister of Pakistan.  That would certainly make the Taliban's blood boil.

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