They say ‘children should be seen and not heard’, but 13-year-old Malala Yousufzai did not hold her peace when the crisis in Swat prevented her from receiving an education.
Writing a diary to BBC Urdu with the pen name ‘Gul Makai’, Malala related her experience living during the siege in Swat. Unlike Anne Frank who wrote about her life during the holocaust, Malala, a famed children’s rights activist, lived to see the fruit of her struggle.
The purpose of her diary entries was to mark a clear divide between the peaceful people of Swat and the miscreants who unjustly oppressed and defamed them.
For defending her motherland’s reputation and fighting for children’s rights and education, Malala was awarded the National Peace Prize by the state of Pakistan.
Malala, who was named after a young Pashtun poet and warrior woman of the 19th century, was also the first Pakistani to be nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. We hope this well-spoken and intelligent young lady’s desire to enter politics and defend our people’s civil rights is materialised.
If a preteen can risk her life to preserve Pakistan’s honour and fight for her community’s right to prosper; the rest of us should take inspiration from her strength in overcoming the obstacles that prevent us from achieving our own dreams.