The magic of Malala continues
At 17 most North American teenagers are busy juggling school work, socialising and social-media’ing. At 17, Pakistani born Malala Yousafzai has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, setting a record for being the youngest recipient of the prestigious award.
What did Malala do to earn such an accolade? Young but fierce, Malala used her 11 year old voice to start championing for a woman’s right to education and speak out against unjust practices in Pakistan. On October 9th 2012, an attempt was made to silence her through shots fired at her head by a Taliban gunman. With a strength and a survivor spirit, much to the Taliban’s dismay, the shots aimed to shorten her life only expanded her heart and drew further attention to the need of justice in the face of the tyranny she was advocating for.
In what’s been described as a fearless memoir, Malala candidly shared the many challenges she faced over the years including the horrific day of her attack and how her life altered afterwards. Released in 2013, millions of copies of I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban have been sold and her brave story continues to inspire around the globe.
In the four years since the books release, what has Malala been up to?
Preaching for peace: Not one to shy away from controversial topics, Malala recently spoke on the accountability that Pakistan must take in improving its worldwide reputation. In a powerful video message released after the horrific 2017 mob-lynching of a journalist at a University campus, Malala called for the country to take ownership on its contribution to misunderstandings that Islam is a militant faith. Malala explains the true essence of the religion is peaceful and compassionate and urges Pakistan to stop fuelling negative perceptions by taking actions to demonstrate they will no longer tolerate brutality and social injustices.
Charming Canada: On April 12th 2017, accompanied by her parents, Malala visited Ottawa to receive an honorary Canadian Citizenship
awarded by Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau. The honor was bestowed upon Malala for being an international role model representing perseverance and determination. In her eloquent acceptance speech on Parliament Hill, Malala reminded everyone that there’s no age too young to stand up for injustice and encouraged Canadian youth to take action.
Advocating for action: The Malala Fund is a non-profit organization committed to supporting equal educational opportunities for girls around the globe. Not only does the charity raise money and awareness through its direct initiatives, it inspires others to find their own, unique way to do the same. One of thousands Malala has inspired to take initiative is Canadian artist Ariane Laezza. Motivated by Malala’s call for action, Ariane fused her creativity with compassion and helped design a fashion-forward Malala Tee to raise awareness and funds.
Though many girls in the world continue to be denied an equal opportunity for education, there’s no denying the empowering impact Malala makes on changing this social injustice. Having accomplished so much by the mere age of 19, the sky is the limit for Malala’s remarkable spirit.