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Precious Warrior: Malala Yousafzai

Updated on August 13, 2013

Malala Goes Back to School

Malala goes back to school after shooting, March 19, 2013.
Malala goes back to school after shooting, March 19, 2013. | Source

The bravest young woman I can think of is 15 year old Malala Yousafzai. Malala was gunned down in an assassination attempt on her way home from school because she has been an unyielding advocate for education for all children, especially young girls in her home country of Pakistan. Much of the country has become war torn since the U.S. War with neighboring Afghanistan. The Swat Valley was formerly an area where well to do families vacationed and enjoyed the green fertile land and streams. On January 15, 2009 the Taliban issued a ban restricting girls from attending school.

The war has negatively impacted all those who live in the region. Those most effected are there children. Schools are not a priority when electricity, food, shelter and basic necessities are threatened. The strict ideology of the Taliban is enforced if they are able to occupy a village. Fear and brutality threatens normal life and causes families to leave their homes. As fighting moves into an area, families must quickly move to other areas in the countryside or to refugee camps, leaving their homes behind. Often either the military or the Taliban occupy their homes while they are away during fighting.

Last October 9, Malala was on her way home from school with some other school girls. Gunmen stopped the van that was providing a ride to Malala. They demanded that the other girls tell them who was Malala. Shots were fired, two girls were wounded. Malala was shot in the head and neck. Thankfully, the driver was able to speed away, getting the girls to safety. Malala's father, a teacher and community leader, had received numerous death threats.

Malala required surgery to remove the bullets and took a turn for the worst. She was transferred to hospital in the United Kingdom for specialized treatment. The Pakistani Consulate was able to employ her father and house her family during her treatment and rehabilitation in Great Britain.

On March 19, 2013, Malala returned to school in Birmingham, England. She is probably afraid, but undeterred, fragile, but strong and steadfast in supporting her cause. Those who also support a cause that they truly believe in, can look to Malala as a role model and mentor. Her bravery exhibits wisdom beyond her years. Malala is know for her activism in the Pakistan Swat Valley where she lives for education for girls and women. The Taliban forbids girls to attend school and is violently opposed to most She is the youngest nominee in history for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Aljazeera English's “Witness” program depicted Malala in a report called “Schoolgirl's Odyssey” in 2010. During the episode, Malala's father who is a teacher explained the daily danger his and other families experience because they choose to allow their daughters to be educated. Mr. Yousafzai was the director of his daughter's school and ran the facility for over fourteen years. When the Taliban issued the ban for girls, he and other families had to flee, leaving the school and their homes behind. Malala also published a blog sharing her daily challenges as a young girl striving to gain an education in Pakistan during war. In 2009, Malala began writing the anonymous diary for BBC and shared her harrowing experience to readers on a daily basis while her family and other families were being threatened.

Because of her bravery, the United Nations named November 10th, “Malala Day” to encourage activism and advocacy for girls like Malala around the world who are not able to attend school. This honor is well deserved as Malala has stood firmly for equality in education for all children, especially girls.

Malala is proudly attending school since the shooting on October 9, 2012. Although she is not in her home in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, she has hopes of returning one day to help her countrymen. We celebrate Malala striving to obtain her education and her bravery, courage and strength.



Fresh start: Malala walked to Edgbaston High School in Birmingham accompanied by her father, Ziauddin
Fresh start: Malala walked to Edgbaston High School in Birmingham accompanied by her father, Ziauddin | Source

Malala Yousif Addresses United Nations Youth Assembly

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    • Theophanes profile image

      Theophanes 4 years ago from New England

      Wow, I had no idea she had such a history. I had heard the news but thought she was a random victim. Thank you for informing me on this. Voted up and interesting.

    • TylerKathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Andres 4 years ago from Lansing, Michigan

      Thank you Theophanes! Malala is definitely a strong young woman. She is a role model to other young women who are determined to get their education! I support her and keep her in my prayers!

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