A proud father, an angry tribe and another Nobel Prize laureate young girl seeking justice - Malala Yousafzai
“In many patriarchal societies, and tribal societies, fathers are usually known by their sons, but I am one of the few fathers who is known by his daughter, and I am proud of it.”
This is the statement that Malala’s father started his TEDx talk with, and this is when he told us all about the cruel life of tribal women.
Remember when we talked about Khaleda Borhi and her fight with honor killing?
Well, Malala is another Pakistani heroine who stood up and said NO to every abusive aspect of her tribe’s traditions.
She was born in Mingora on 12 July 1997, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Where her Her Sunni Muslim family ran a chain of schools in the region.
Was given her name Malala (grief-stricken) after Malalai of Maiwand, who was a famous Pashtun poet and warrior woman from southern Afghanistan.
(Pashtun is an Iranic ethnic group who mainly live in Pakistan and Afghanistan).
How Malala started her path towards the change.
By 15 January 2009 in Malala’s town, the local Taliban had banned girls from attending school.
They were banning television, music, girls' education, and women from going shopping. Bodies of beheaded policemen were being displayed in town squares.
And by doing that, they declared their domination on the Swat Valley against the military.
But, In late 2008, Aamer Ahmed Khan of the BBC Urdu website and his colleagues came up with a way of covering the Taliban's growing influence in Swat. They decided to ask a schoolgirl to blog anonymously about her life there.
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.
So her father suggested his own daughter, the 11-year-old Malala, to be that anonymous blogger that will write down her everyday life.
On 3 January 2009, Malala's first entry was posted to the BBC Urdu blog. The blog records Malala's thoughts during the First Battle of Swat, as military operations take place, fewer girls show up to school, and finally, her school shuts down.
On 24 January 2009, she wrote: "Our annual exams are due after the vacations but this will only be possible if the Taliban allow girls to go to school. We were told to prepare certain chapters for the exam but I do not feel like studying."
Malala’s advocacy has grown into an international movement, and according to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, she has become "the most prominent citizen" of the country.
A try to Assassinate Malala.
On 9 October 2012, on a bus in Swat District after taking an exam, Malala and two other girls were shot by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her activism.
Having been hit with a bullet in the head, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but it later improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK.
Her medical condition after the shooting.
was airlifted to a military hospital in Peshawar, where doctors were forced to begin operating after swelling developed in the left portion of her brain, which had been damaged by the bullet when it passed through her head.
After a five-hour operation, doctors successfully removed the bullet, which had lodged in her shoulder near her spinal cord.
The day following the attack, doctors performed a surgery which part of the skull is removed to allow room for the brain to swell.
On 15 October, Malala traveled to the United Kingdom for further treatment, approved by both her doctors and family.
On 3 January 2013, Malala was discharged from the hospital to continue her rehabilitation at her family's temporary home in the West Midlands.
She went through a five-hour long operation on the 2nd February to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing with a cochlear implant, after which she was reported to be in stable condition.
The media PUZZ.
The murder attempt received worldwide media coverage, and from this point, people started to speak up very loudly!
Over 2 million people signed the petition of the Right to Education campaign, which led to the ratification of the first Right to Education Bill in Pakistan.
And, Pakistani officials offered a 10 million rupee (US$105,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of the attackers.
The Nobel prize!
On 10 October 2014, Malala was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.
Having received the prize at the age of 17, Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel laureate.
Her other contribution to the world
In her 18th birthday, Malala opened a school in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, near the Syrian border, for Syrian refugees. The school, funded by the not-for-profit Malala Fund, offers education and training to girls aged 14 to 18 years.
She also posted a statement on Twitter calling for Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to condemn the treatment of the Rohingya people in Myanmar.
Suu Kyi has avoided taking sides in the conflict, or condemning violence against the Rohingya people, leading to widespread criticism.
Such a magnificent teenager!
So, Malala is not only a Pakistani young girl fights for her own people, but she is a young girl fighting for every minority and every injustice in the world.
The journey wasn’t easy, Malala had lost some of her main face muscles function due to the shooting she has gone through, you can see it clearly in any interview with her.
When we as teenagers were looking for the next hit album for Rihanna, Malala was going through hell fighting for what we thought was a basic right for every human being.
Malala reached a point when she was on the edge of losing her life -her 14-year-old life- for what she believed in, and that is something not everyone is capable of doing.
Written by ENGY HASSAN