“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” -Malala Yousafzai (quotes.thefamouspeople.com). Malala Yousafzai is a well-known education activist who fights for children, mainly girls, all around the world so they can get an education. She grew up in and around school because her father is a teacher and an education advocate as well, and he was the one that encouraged her to write a blog for the BBC under the pen name “Gul Makai.” The Taliban also started taking control of the area at this time, banning TV, music, and women from going shopping or getting an education. On October 9, 2012, Malala was shot on her school bus because of her outspoken by the Taliban and managed to survive the assassination attempt (Biography.com Editors). Malala Yousafzai is motivated to pursue the mission of helping every child get an education because she believes that education is important and that no one should be denied that basic human right.
Challenges and Obstacles Faced
As Malala fought for children’s educational rights, she faced many challenges and obstacles that would be enough to make anyone give up on their fight. But the struggles Malala faced never deterred her from her fight for educational rights. Instead, it made her even more dedicated to reach her goal. One major challenge that she faced was the Taliban. The Taliban is a terrorist group in Pakistan who is against her and her views, so one day, when she was going home, “a masked gunman entered her school bus and asked ‘Which one of you is Malala? Speak up. Otherwise, I will shoot at you all.’” (Malala Yousafzai – Biographical). Malala was identified and then shot, but she managed to survive even though she was in critical condition. She was moved to the UK where, after multiple surgeries and lots of therapy, Malala was finally able to start attending school again in Birmingham in 2013. Even though she was faced with violence and oppression, she never gave up her fight. To this day, she continues to fight her battle for educational rights and refuses to let anything stop her from winning.
Determination and Compassion
Because Malala continued to fight for what she believed was the greater good, despite all the difficulties she has faced, it can be said without a doubt that she’s extremely determined and compassionate. Determination was a vital character trait that Malala Yousafzai possessed that helped her in her campaign for children’s education. When the Taliban invaded, Malala and her father started receiving death threats for their views on education. Her father suggested moving Malala out of Swat and to a boarding school, but Malala objected. She wrote, “I don’t know why, but hearing I was being targeted did not worry me.” (Yousafzai 224). She wanted to stay in Swat and continue to fight for what she believed in. And when her father suggested that they stop with their fight for equal education, Malala replied with, “‘How can we do that? You were the one who said that if we believe in something greater than our lives, then our voices will only multiply even if we are dead. We can’t disown our campaign!’” (Yousafzai 224-225). Malala refused to give up and decided that she would rather die fighting than live without a cause. On October 9, 2012, the Taliban shot, and nearly killed Malala. She was moved to the UK and recovered quickly. The Taliban’s assassination attempt didn’t silence her, but it only made her voice louder. Malala Yousafzai was also very caring and compassionate. She cared and stood up for the less fortunate. Some people didn’t want to or couldn’t pay the tuition for their children to go to school, so she “persuaded [her father] to give free places to a number of girls.” (Yousafzai 45). Through the Malala Fund, she also traveled to Jordan to meet with Syrian refugees, Kenya to meet female students, and northern Nigeria where she spoke in support of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, a terrorist group similar to the Taliban (Malala Yousafzai – Biographical). Malala went through a lot of trouble so she could meet some of the people she was fighting for. Malala was compassionate and caring and those were two major character traits that pushed her to fight for change. To this day she continues to wage her war for education rights. Malala Yousafzai and her cause gained worldwide attention after she was shot. “Over two million people signed the Right to Education campaign. The petition helped the ratification of Pakistan’s first right to education bill in Pakistan.” (Pettinger). The Malala Fund also advocates for quality secondary education for girls around the planet. It works with international leaders and is currently funding education projects in six different countries.
Malala Yousafzai is pursuing a mission to help every child get an education because she believes that education is a basic human right that shouldn’t be denied to anyone. Malala faced many challenges along the way, one being shot by the Taliban. Despite this obstacle, she refused to give up and continued to fight for her cause showing that she is both determined and compassionate. “If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?.” -Malala Yousafzai (quotes.thefamouspeople.com). Malala Yousafzai has helped many people in the world and continues to make an imprint on others. She is taking charge and slowly changing the world with her efforts. One child at a time.
Biography.com Editors. Malala Yousafzai Biography.A&E Television Networks. April 2, 2014.
Malala Yousafzai – Biographical.Nobel Media AB 2019. October 19, 2019.
Pettinger, Tejvan. Biography of Malala.October 18, 2013, Oxford, UK.
92 Inspiring Quotes By Malala Yousafzai That Every Girl Should Read.
Yousafzai, Malala. I am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban.Weidenfeld & Nicolson. October 8, 2013, UK.