The French poet Arthur Rimbaud said : “You are not serious when you are seventeen”. The young Pakistani Malala Yousafzai was in her chemistry class in high school today when she learnt she had won the Nobel Peace Prize with the Indian Kailash Satyarthi. This was not a surprise because this young woman has been through more in her seventeen years than most of us would experience in our entire lives. At fourteen she started to write a blog to fight against the Taliban who were banning girls from any kind of education. With just her tiny voice she stood up against those terrorists who want to reduce women to nothing. Who would have thought that the Taliban issued death threats to a teenager running a blog? Writing and spreading ideas was unbearable to them, they had to shut her up. For good.
Two years ago a Taliban shot a bullet in Malala’s head. The image of this girl dying schocked the entire world. Thankfully she was sent to United Kingdom where she was saved. She is still living there today, studying as she should do at her age. Being a survivor of the Taliban’s terror made her a real hero. Of not just a nation, but even more, for all women all over the world. Malala gave an inspiring speech in front the United Nations. The strength and the confidence she shows at only sixteen is striking. Whether this is charisma or survivor’s syndrome, I don’t know. But it seems that Malala has what it takes to increase world’s awareness of the importance of education for all, and especially for little girls. She is right when she emphasizes the power of a teacher, a book and a pen. After all she risked her life with a few blog posts!
Choosing Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize was a terrific idea. Girls and women need more role models and female heroes. Even at seventeen, Malala, by her courage and her tenacity, will inspire a lot of us. Thanks to Malala, girls’ education is now dominating the news. The Nobel Peace Prize is the best publicity Malala could have hoped for.