Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted in a little while. I’ve been super busy!
Aaaaaaaaanyway, guess what day today is! Guess, guess, guess!
Fine, I’ll just tell you. It’s…GIRL POWER FRIDAY! (Yay!)
Have you ever heard of Malala Yousafzai? She is a female education activist and the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Prize. But that’s not the whole story…
Malala was just a young girl who loved school living in Pakistan, when her country was invaded by the Taliban, a terrorist group. They took over Swat Valley, where Malala had been living with her family.
Soon after, in 2008, BBC was looking for a schoolgirl to anonymously blog about the situation in Swat. Nobody would volunteer. The danger was too great. Finally, 11-year-old Malala stepped up. 12 days after Malala posted her first entry, the Taliban placed a ban on girls attending school. By that time, the Taliban had already destroyed over a hundred girls’ schools. Malala wanted nothing more that the mere right to learn, and it had been taken from her.
The ban was in January of 2009. After the ban, the Taliban continued to destroy schools. Malala’s blog went on, where she wrote about what was happening and how she felt. Her blog ended in March 2009. After the blog ended, Malala was approached by a New York Times reporter about filming a documentary.
In May, Malala’s hometown was evacuated and her family was displaced, because the Pakistani Army had moved into the area. Malala’s father separated from the rest of the family to speak and protest in Peshawar, After speaking out at a press conference, Malala’s father received a death threat by radio broadcast.
Her father was Malala’s inspiration. That summer, she declared, “I have a new dream … I must be a politician to save this country. There are so many crises in our country. I want to remove these crises.”
When the announcement was made that the Taliban had retreated and it was safe to return to Swat Valley, Malala and her family reunited and moved back to their home.
After Malala’s documentary was filmed, she began to become more and more recognized. Among other things, she was interviewed numerous times, appeared on television, was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize, and was awarded Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize.
But with this recognition came danger. Death threats began to appear everywhere: published in newspapers, slipped under the door, and even on Facebook!
Finally, it all came to an end. On October 9, 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot by a Taliban gunman.
There. I could end it right here. She lived, she died. Right? But that’s just it. She didn’t die. She went on to have a huge, huge, HUGE impact on the world, and is still alive and influential today…
The bullet went through her head and neck, and ended up in her shoulder. She was taken to multiple hospitals in the next week or so. Doctors were forced to operate on her skull because her brain, which had suffered some damage, was swelling. They took out a piece of her skull and stored it in her stomach! (Don’t worry, later it was removed from her stomach and given to her as a gift. She got a titanium plate in her skull to replace the missing piece.)
Malala was in a coma for most of this, but came out of the coma on October 17. By October 21, she was stable, though still fighting an infection. In November, Malala was discharged from the hospital and able to continue her rehabilitation.
Today, Malala lives with her family in Birmingham, England, and attends Edgbaston High School in Birmingham.
The attempted assassination caused the world to erupt. People protested the shooting in cities in Pakistan. Over 2 million people signed Right to Education campaign’s petition. Madonna dedicated a song to Malala! Angelina Jolie wrote her a letter! She was invited to speak at the United Nations, and is a frequent speaker in different locations. She is also the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Prize.
In her book, I am Malala, Malala wrote, “One person tried to silence me. And millions spoke out.”
This is the story of how one girl stood up for education and changed the world. Now that’s girl power!
Sources: I am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World