I was struck by Malala Yousafzai’s eloquence as she was interviewed on the BBC News Hour programme on radio today.
She was quite clear, articulate and vocal in speaking her mind as regards her advocacy for girl child education in her native Pakistan.
The plan by the Taliban to silence her a year ago when two men stopped the bus that was conveying her and other girls from school back home to her village in the Swat Valley region of Pakistan, personally asked for her by name, and shot her severally then leaving her for dead, rather than mar her MADE her, and from been a small voice in her little district to a major voice, far louder than the din the Taliban represents internationally.
Since recovering from the injuries she sustained, she’s done all in her power to bring attention to the plight of others like her in Pakistan and other places in the world, to the extent of speaking at the United Nations, even getting nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace.
One would’ve expected someone coming from the kind of experience she had with the Taliban going under, even when as she is now supposedly safe in the UK, but she hadn’t taken that route, rather she had beaten the Taliban not with the weapon they’re used to but by advocating for Peace through EDUCATION!
The Taliban, so very aware of the bad press their attempt to silence this teenager by killing her, wrote her a letter a while ago trying to explain to her why they made a hit on her and why it was necessary that she put an end to her campaign. One of the positives of that letter was that it put to rest speculations building up in Pakistan as to whether she was indeed shot at, and by the Taliban for that matter.
It would appear that the Taliban has done nothing more than propel her each time they utter words or act negatively in her direction, unfortunately the sympathy she once garnered amongst Pakistanis has since given way to apathy and in some cases antagonism by many who see her as an opportunist and western stooge.
Interestingly, during her interview with the BBC she was quite clear about her Pakistaniness and her belief in Allah remained unflinching, showing she hadn’t lost any of her at all, to what many may consider the corruptive influence of the western world.
Malala speaks for many girls today, especially in third world countries, and even in prosperous oil producing Islamic and Arab societies where women have been relegated to the background, to be merely seen and not heard.
She personifies the Diamond from the Dirt. The true Rose from concrete story. Interestingly, her seat in her former class in her former school in Pakistan remains with her name inscribed on it. She’s inspired a new generation of girls in Pakistan who like one in the BBC interview, who said she’d like to be the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan (there you go).
Hers is truly an inspiring story. I just hope many girls who today have the opportunity to pursue their dreams remember her and all she went through to pursue hers, when they’re thinking of dropping out of school or engaging in activities that’ll jeopardize their academic progress.