Malala Wins Nobel Prize
The little girl who was shot point blank by the Taliban as she rode a bus home from school in Pakistan is now a sixteen-year-old Nobel Prize winner.
Malala Yousafzai grew up the Swat Valley in North-West Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan. Her community was shattered by the Taliban, who destroyed girls’ schools, among other brutally oppressive deeds. Malala lived in a neighborhood where women were beaten for such offenses as an ankle accidentally showing under a burqa; people were shot, hanged and beheaded for violating Taliban laws. But this little girl would simply not allow her fear to control her actions. Apparently born with an iron will and the fortune of a loving father, she is making history. (Malala shares her Nobel Prize with Kailash Satyarthi, the Indian children’s rights activist.)
I wrote about Malala in a previous post, and will add again below an insightful documentary, “Class Dismissed,” about her life in Swat.
Malala has risked her young life to fight for the rights of children to be educated, with a special focus on girls. Hard line extremists revile her, and the Taliban have threatened bookstore owners who carry her book, “I am Malala.”
Much of the Taliban moved into the northwest frontier of Pakistan after its defeat in 2001.
Hundreds of girls’ schools have been attacked since then. When the U.S. turned its focus to Iraq, the Taliban went to work, regaining control over large areas in Afghanistan’s south. The Taliban took control in Swat in 2008, and Pakistan’s armed forces regained the Valley in 2009.
Today, bombs and suicide attacks by Taliban are an unfortunate reality in Afghanistan, as the extremist group tries to reassert its power. Just this week, they took advantage of political turmoil due to the presidential election by regaining territory in Helmand in the south, and Kunduz in the north.
See Multimedia Content below to see Malala’s speech at the United Nations, and her life growing up under dangerous circumstances in Swat.
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Filed under Culture | Comments: 1 | Posted on Saturday, October 11th, 2014