Books and pens are the most powerful weapons – Malala Yousafzai

malala1 Malala Yousafzai is a 16 year old girl from the town of Mingora in Pakistan. On the 12th July this year, her 16th birhday, she gave a speech to the United Nations calling for the freedom of education for all children in the world.

When she was 12 years old, the Taliban had banned girls from attending school, which in turn forced ger father to close the all girls school he operated. Malala became an activist, wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC and was the subject of a documentary.

In October last year she was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. She survived and was later sent to Birmingham in the UK for intensive rehabilitation.

Former British Prime Minister and current U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown launched a United Nations petition in Yousafzai’s name, using the slogan “I am Malala” and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has announced on 10 November that 12 July, the birthday of Malala Yousafzai will be celebrated as Malala Day. It is fitting that Malala was able to speak to the United Nations on her birthday.

I watched the speech today on YouTube and was so moved I wanted to share her story in this article. Here is the speech, the text and the documentary and more links.

You can read the full text on the Guardian web site by following this link.


Documentary (30 minutes)

Watch the documentary Class Dismissed – The Death of Female Education – “A 2009 documentary by Adam B. Ellick profiled Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl whose school was shut down by the Taliban”.

Number 2 Activist – On the cover of Time Magazine


More information


Author: charuzu

I live in Sydney and interests include music, piano playing, technology, cooking, English language, public speaking, Toastmasters, Asian culture (especially Japan and Korea), cinema, personal development, productivity and making friends with people from around the world.

3 thoughts on “Books and pens are the most powerful weapons – Malala Yousafzai”


    Just eleven months after she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, Pakistan teenager Malala Yousefzai has opened Europe’s largest public library saying books are the “weapons to defeat terrorism”.

    The 16-year-old education campaigner opened the new library in her adopted home of Birmingham in central England.

    It is less than a year since Malala was flown to Birmingham for life-saving surgery after being shot by a Taliban gunman as she travelled to school.

    She had been targeted for her outspoken promotion of education and the rights of women and girls in her homeland of Pakistan.

    At the official library opening, she walked calmly to the lectern and waved to the crowd.

    Birmingham locals were charmed as her voice rang clearly in her adopted language.

    AUDIO: Listen to Mary Gearin’s report (The World Today)
    “It is a great honour for me to be here in Birmingham, the beating heart of England,” she said.

    “Birmingham is very special for me, because it was here that I found myself alive seven days after I was shot.”

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