Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Prize for Malala

Malala Yousafzai from her book, "I Am Malala"

A Prize for Malala                                    

“In the name of God, the most beneficent, the most merciful...”

          Malala Yousafzai in her birthday address to the UN Youth Assembly, July 9, 2013

A pink lacy shawl frames her dark hair and determined face.   She is sixteen!

Confident and convivial, she commands the podium in front of the world’s leaders.

Sixteen!   Malala has survived a gunshot at close range,

on her schoolbus in Pakistan,

a target of the Taliban for speaking her strong mind.

She has survived!

“Respected elders, and my dear brothers and sisters,  Salaam Aleichem.”

She fingers her delicate shawl, bequeathed from Benazir Bhutto,

one woman to another, a gift of strength from across time and beyond the veil.

“This time, we women will do it for ourselves.

Thank you to God, for whom we are all equal!

I speak so that those without voice can be heard.”

Her mother wipes away tears.

Men in suits stare, making space in their consciousness for Malala,

for this empowered young woman who speaks truth and fears no one.

“I want education for your children as well.”

        Malala’s message to the Taliban who shot her (interview with Jon Stewart)

Be ready, you big mean old world.

Malala is sixteen, and she is ready for you.

The prize goes to Malala for clarity, for courage,

for shimmering through the flood of lies

with the clear power of truth.

Annelinde Metzner

Listen to and watch the entire interview with Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, given on October 10, 2013.  

Read more about Malala and the Malala Fund for education.

Candles for Malala in Pakistan

Pakistani girl with photo of Malala

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