Sunday, July 14, 2013

Malala Yousafzai's Powerful UN Speech

Excerpts from Malala Yousafzai's powerful UN speech given on Malala Day, July 12. Hard to believe she only just turned 16 that day. Such grace, intelligence, and understanding from such a young one.

There are hundreds of Human rights activists and social workers who are not only speaking for human rights, but who are struggling to achieve their goals of education, peace and equality. Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured. I am just one of them.
So here I stand.... one girl among many.
Dear friends, on the 9th of October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends too. They thought that the bullet would silence us. But they failed. And out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born. 
 ..“The pen is mightier than sword” was true. The extremists were and they are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them. And that is why they killed 14 innocent (medical) students in the recent attack in Quetta. And that is why they killed many female teachers and polio workers in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa. That is why they are blasting schools every day. Because they were and they are afraid of change, afraid of  equality that we will bring into our society.
I remember that there was a boy in our school who was asked by a journalist, “Why are the Taliban against education?” He answered very simply. By pointing to his book he said, “A Talib doesn’t know what is written inside this book.” They think that God is a tiny, little conservative being who would send girls to the hell just because of going to school. 
Dear fellows, today I am focusing on women’s rights and girls’ education because they are suffering the most. There was a time when women social activists asked men to stand up for their rights. But, this time, we will do it by ourselves. I am not telling men to step away from speaking for women’s rights, rather I am focusing on women to be independent to fight for themselves.
And if we want to achieve our goal, then let us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge, and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness.
and let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons.
One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.

This young girl, if she survives those who want her dead, will do great things.

Video of the whole speech.

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