On 23 August, 2015, Malala Yousafzai’s father proudly announced her academic success on twitter.
She received her General Certificate of Secondary Education with straight A’s – six of the rank of A*, which is the highest attainable. While admiration and congratulations poured in from all quarters, Pakistan expressed that Malala continues to make them proud.
In the months preceeding her exams, Malala had switched focus from her international appearances and talks and focussed completely on finishing her studies which she had been pursuing from Edgaston High School in Birmingham ever since she relocated from Pakistan after the Taliban attack on her.
This adds to the long list of triumphs she has achieved as a teenager (look at me, drooling over pizza and more pizza). Since the age of 11, Malala has been an advocate of women rights and education for all. This achievement of hers goes hand in hand with her beliefs and her ideals which she holds in high esteem. Today, we stand with her together, honouring her principles and reliving the ways in which she is making the world a better place to live in.
Here are the ways Malala is moulding the world to be a beautiful place for all:
- Her mesmerizing United Nations speech: On July 12, which was also her 16th birthday (christened Malala Day), she made her first public appearance since the Taliban attack on her. In her sonorous and poignant voice, Malala was quoted saying, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.” The United Nations unveiled on the same day the Global Education First Initiative, which aims to provide quality education to one and all, in the course of next five years.
- The lesson of forgiveness: At her speech at the UN itself, Malala expressed that she felt no malice for the Talibs who shot her. She said, “I do not even hate the Talib who shot me. Even if there is a gun in my hand and he stands in front of me. I would not shoot him.” The amnesty she granted to the cruel people defaming humanity stands as a symbol of hope for the world we are ushering into and we need to take cue from her.
- Malala fund: At this tender age where we are sitting engrossed in our mobile phones, Malala is taking on the world head on. She founded the Malala fund which “empowers girls through quality secondary education to achieve their potential and inspire positive change in their communities.” Through this fund, they are helping adolescent girls under threat of Taliban in Pakistan, girls living under fear of Boko Haram in Nigeria, girls living in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon and many other similar programs have been undertaken by them.
- Her meeting with Obama: Malala may be a staunch supporter of child right and education for all but that is not the only cause she will stand up for. She proved to the world she was not to be trifled with when on her meeting with President Obama, she expressed concerns about the U.S. drone strikes and how they were causing resentment among the Pakistani people.
- #BooksNotBullets campaign: As we know Malala is ever ready to bring about change and embrace it with open arms. On her 18th birthday, she launched the Books Not Bullets campaign to convince the leaders of the world, the mighty rulers that they need to choose books over bullets if they want to bring about significant change in society. She echoed, “Books are a better investment in our future than bullets. Books, not bullets, will pave the path towards peace and prosperity.” And we stand by this sentiment.
Malala has ignited the fire of transforming the world and the fire shall catch on. She stands, today, as the instrument of change which will lead the world towards blissful radiance.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.