Malala Yusufzai (1997-) – Pakistani schoolgirl, a fighter for the rights of women to education. In retaliation for her human rights activities and criticism of the Taliban, she was wounded by Taliban militants. Winner of numerous awards, the youngest person, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.
Malala was born on July 12, 1997 in Mingora, in the Swat region of northwestern Pakistan to a Sunni Muslim family.
Her father Ziyauddin Yusufzai is a poet. He runs a network of public schools and advocates for education. In 2009, Malala began writing an anonymous blog for the BBC, expressing her views on education and life threatened by the Taliban. She took the pseudonym “Gul Makai”.
During this period, the military influence of the Taliban in Pakistan increased. “At times, artillery was heard from the advancing Taliban forces,” Malala wrote in her blog. As soon as the Taliban took control of entire areas, they issued decrees banning television and music, and also banned women from shopping and restricted their education. Many schools for girls were blown up and, as a result, students stayed at home, fearing possible reprisals from the Taliban. However, during the lull, some girls could receive primary education if they wore burkas. At this time, Malala and her father began to receive threats because of their frank views, they began to worry about their safety. Her father began to consider moving out of Swat to a boarding school, but Malala did not want to leave.
“I do not know why, but the thought that I would become a target did not excite me. It seemed to me that everyone knows that they will die one day. ” (Quote from the book “I am Malala”)
When her father suggested she stop her campaign for human rights, Malala replied: “How can we do this? You said that if we believe in something more than our life, our voices will only multiply, even if we die. We can not renounce our views! (Quote from the book “I am Malala”)
People asked me to speak at events. How could I refuse to say that speeches are a direct security threat? We, as proud Pashtuns, could not do that. My father always said that heroism is in our DNA. (Quote from the book “I am Malala”)
In addition to the blog, Malala became famous in the documentary of the reporter Adam B.Ellick (“The New York Times”). Widespread fame after its involvement in the blogging of the BBC was revealed, since before that she led him anonymously. In 2011, she received the first Pakistan National Peace Prize for Youth and was nominated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Harsh criticism of the Taliban prompted their leaders to meet, and in 2012 they decided to kill Malalu.
On October 9, 2012, the masked thriller entered her school bus and asked: “Which of you is Malala? Speak, otherwise I will shoot at all. ”
When Malala was identified among the children, the gunman fired a shot at close range, and the bullet passed through her head, neck and shoulder. Two other girls sitting nearby were also injured, although not as badly as Malala.
Malala was in critical condition. Her father was convinced that she would die, and told everyone to prepare for her funeral. Vital organs suffered and infection began to spread. In a state of coma, she was transferred to a hospital in Rwalpindi. Later, on October 15, she was transported to Birmingham in the UK for further treatment at a specialized hospital for the treatment of war injuries. A couple of days later, she came out of a coma and was well tolerated by the treatment. She was discharged on January 3, 2013 and moved with her family to a temporary home in the West Midlands. In her book “I am Malala,” she writes: “It was a miracle that I survived.” She also writes about the absence of bitterness or desire for revenge.
“I regret only that I did not have the opportunity to talk to him before he shot me. Now he will never hear what I wanted to say. I don’t even think badly about the man who shot me – I didn’t think about revenge – I just wanted to return to Swat. I wanted to go home ” (Quote from the book“ I am Malala ”).
Reaction to the attempt
The assassination attempt caused worldwide condemnation and prompted protests throughout Pakistan. Over 2 million people have signed the “Right to Education” petition. This petition helped ratify the bill on the right to education in Pakistan.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, the chief representative of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that Yusufzai was a symbol of infidelity and obscenity. However, Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwa against Taliban leaders and said that there was no religious justification for the assassination attempt on a schoolgirl.
On October 15, the UN Special Envoy for World Education, Gordon Brown, visited Malala while she was in the hospital, and began her petition on her behalf – “In support of what Malala fought for”
Using the slogan “I am Malala”, the petition contained three demands:
“We urge Pakistan to adopt a plan to provide educational opportunities for each child.”
“We call on all countries to ban discrimination against girls.”
“We call on international organizations to provide education to 61 million children who cannot attend school by the end of 2015.
On July 12, 2013, she spoke at the United Nations to a group of young people, calling for the idea of free education throughout the world.
“I am not opposed to anyone, I am not here to talk about revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorist group. I am here to talk about the right to education for every child. I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban, and all the terrorists and extremists . ” (Quote from the book “I am Malala”)
Her worldwide fame and admiration in the West caused a backlash in Pakistan. Many in Pakistan fear the support of Malala by the West, given the US attitude toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. In addition, its position underscores the unverified Taliban militancy, which is a problem for Pakistan. Some in Pakistan fear that Malala promotes Western ideology and values. Malala is alarmed by conspiracy theories in her own country and seeks to show her native Pakistan in a good light. Her blog expresses precisely such sentiments.
Quotes of Malala
“Today we all know: education is one of our main rights. Not only in the West; Islam also gave us this right. Islam says that every girl and every person should go to school. It is written in the Qur’an, God wants us to have knowledge. ” (Quote from the book “I am Malala”)
“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education is first. “(UN speech, July 12, 2013)
“I love my God. I thank my Allah. I talk to him all day. He is the greatest. By giving me my position to reach people, he also gave me big responsibilities. Peace in every home, on every street, in every village, in every country is my dream. Education for every boy and every girl in the world. Sitting on a chair and reading books with all my friends at school is my right. Seeing each and every person with a smile of happiness is my desire. ” (Quote from the book “I am Malala”)