written by Yen Harper
For decades the unstable country of Pakistan has been suffering politically and socially from terrorism and corruption. In 2007, the extremist group known as the Taliban forcefully took over the Swat District of Pakistan.
Malala Yousafzai was born in Pakistan on July 12th, 1997. She grew up in Swat Valley a beautiful district known for its outstanding nature and a tourist haven. From a young age Malala has always loved going to school, she was a diligent student and popular amongst her friends. She had a sense for curiosity, a thirst for education and what life has to offer. She was an innocent carefree child like many others around the world with a fun and loving childhood and a bright future.
However, it all changed when the Taliban took over her hometown in 2008. They were ruthlessly killing innocent civilians, attacking schools, implementing new cruel regulations banning female education, banning communication with the outside world. Whoever dared to defy their rule was mercilessly punished.
Malala’s world suddenly changed, once a tourist friendly peaceful place then turned into a war zone, it was becoming the worst displacement crisis the world has ever seen. The Taliban was destroying her homeland, depriving her people of basic needs. The government was also struggling to fight back, eventually gave up and stopped fighting. This pushed Malala to choose between the two most significant choices of her life “to remain silent and wait to be killed, or to speak up and then be killed”, she chose to take matters into her own hands and did the bravest most heroic action one could do in such a situation, speak up. Knowing that by speaking out, standing up and fighting for a righteous cause, she would be targeted by the Taliban. She was brave but still she was afraid of the day they might come for her, but that did not stop her from writing a blog about living in a war zone. In 2012, on her way home from school she was targeted, they asked for her by name, shot her in the face and injured two of her classmates severely. Malala was then brought to a hospital, the doctors did not think she would survive. Malala was then transferred to Queen Elizabeth in the UK, she was under intensive care and after 10 days she woke up.
After she recovered, Malala and her family moved to Birmingham. One would think that after being attacked by a terrorist group and surviving it, Malala would settle down and have a quiet life in the UK. But Malala still could not stand by, there was still a cause to fight for, so she fought on and is still fighting till this day. Fighting for girls all over the world to have a quality education, so they won’t be sold as young brides and given a better future. A future that is theirs, their choice, their story to write. Being inspired by her dad, they established the Malala Fund a charity dedicated to giving young girls a brighter future through education. For her dedicated work Malala was the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Malala Yousafzai is a beacon to many women around the world for her fearlessness to fight for what she believes in and one could argue her fight and her voice saved her life.
“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it.”