It’s almost impossible to believe, in our own take-for-granted, everyday life that we would ever be faced with being forbidden to attend school – to be denied access to an education, to generate new ideas and develop critical thinking. But in many places in the world, this is very much the case.
Recent news has shocked and saddened people everywhere with the shooting of a young Pakistani school girl.
Malala Yousafzai is a 14-year-old ninth grade student from the Swat district of Pakistan. She was shot in the head last week by the Taliban because of her courageous, outspoken fight for the right for her and all girls to be allowed to attend school and receive an education.
It is so humbling to think of the maturity, accomplishments and conviction of someone so young as Malala. By the age of eleven, she was writing about the practices of the Taliban against the residents of her city in a journal for the BBC under a pseudonym. She has become a role model for the 22 million girls worldwide who are not able to attend school. Malala was awarded one of her country’s highest honors for civilians for her bravery .
Malala is alive but in critical condition. If she lives, the Taliban has vowed to hunt her down.
But she has already inspired so many young girls in her country, in many countries and now I hope in our country. For if we are going to have teen idols, here’s a true one for all of us, as parents and teachers, to admire, introduce, and promote to our daughters – and our sons.
Malala – beautiful, intelligent, courageous. Keep fighting.