Which words did you frequently use when you were a 7th grader? I remember mine was “Damien Salvatore” (a series movie character) & telepathy (after reading the story of a man with telepathic skills). However, for the Pakistani 7th grade blogger Malala Yousfuzai, “Muslim Khan”, “dead”, “injured”, “Taleban” and “police” were her frequently used words.

Malala Yousfuzai was born in July 12, 1997 in the Swat district of Northwest Pakistan from her father Ziauddin Yousfuzai and her mother Tor Pekai. Malala was only 11 years old when she was given the chance to blog on BBC about her life under the Taleban occupation. Posting her blogs with a pseudonym of Gul Makai, Malala was able to show the world how people were living in her state.

Malala was not just a scared little girl who wrote anonymously. She was brave enough to ask the audience of a local press club covered by newspapers & channels of the area, “How dare the Taleban take away my basic right to education?”

In January 2009 the Taleban set an edict which bans all girls from attending school. More than hundred schools were destroyed. Malala and her fellow friends stopped going to school and stayed at home. In February 9 boys were allowed to go back to school while the ban was still on for girls. Malala wrote, “ I am sad watching my uniform, school bag and geometry box.”

In another event Malala wrote, “When I entered my room I saw my brothers playing. One had a toy helicopter while the other had a pistol made of paper. One would yell ‘fire’ & the other would say ‘take position’. One of my brothers told my father he wanted to make an atomic bomb.” (Malala’s brothers were younger than her & obviously very young to wish to make an atomic bomb)

On March, girls were allowed to go back to school but wearing ‘Burqas’ (a Muslim garment which has a face veil.) and on March 12 Malala’s blog ended. But her occupation as an activist didn’t. Her father and Malala were asked to film a documentary with the New York Times. After the documentary Malala became a popular figure. Even her BBC blogging identity was revealed and she appeared in radios and TV shows. She continued advocating female’s education. She once said, “I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is education”

Malala became even more popular when she was awarded National Youth Peace Prize. As she became more recognized, murder attempts became frequent. Threats to kill her were published on newspapers & Social Medias. She never stopped though. She said , “I’ll tell him how important education is, and that I even want education for his children as well. And I would say now do what you want”. When she was asked what she would do if she were confronted by the Talebans. And in fact that was exactly what happened. While she was returning home from school, a Taleban gunman entered the bus and asked which one Malala was. & what do you think? We are talking about Malala AKA the bravest girl in the world. (She was even brave enough to request President Barack Obama to stop the drones in Pakistan lands.) She stood up and the gun man fired the bullet to her forehead.

But as Malala herself put it death did not want to take her and she survived the shot. Malala is now a Nobel Prize laureate and advocator of female education. She is now attending the school she has always been determined to complete in Edgbatson High School.

Malala is one of the very few who stood up for themselves, Open-minded, brave and most of all, determined. She believed education is the real power and was never scared to show her attitude. AND she made a difference. If God could bless us, and he will, with few more of her kind, life on earth would have been different.

By Loza Admassu

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