Saturday, July 14, 2018

Malala Yousafzai: A Life of Bravery and Stardom - What is she doing now?

by Meghan Kodiaga

            A non-profit and numerous schools exist in her name; she has met with politicians around the globe: now this is a girl worthy of a memoir.  She is most well-known for a blog that she wrote as a youth documenting the life of a child in the war zone and being shot in the head by the Taliban and surviving nearly a 100% recovery. 
She is also remembered as the youngest to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, a prize she was awarded in 2014 for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to an education; she shared it with Kailash Satyarthi, a children's rights activist in India. 
            Malala was born to Ziauddin Yousafzai and Tor Pekai Yousafzai on July 12, 1997.  She was born in the Swat District of Pakistan's northwestern Kyber Pahktunkhwa province at home (not a hospital because her family lacked the funds for a hospital birth). 
            She was eleven years old when, with the encouragement of her father, in January 2009, she started writing down her thoughts about life in Pakistan.  A BBC Urdu journalist took pictures of her handwriting and shared it online through a blog.  This was a way to cover the influence of the Taliban on the life of a  schoolgirl in her area known as Swat.  The blog records three months of Malala's thoughts during the First Battle of Swat.  As military operations took place, fewer girls showed up to school, and finally, her school shut down.  Schools across Swat were being bombed.
            After the blog, her family was displaced; her father went to another city to advocate for peace while Malala was sent to live in the countryside with relatives.  By that time, the news of her blog had gone global.  A New York Times reporter approached their family about doing a documentary.  She appeared on television numerous times advocating for children's and girls' education and soon became the target of the Taliban.
            It was in 2014, October, when she was shot while riding a bus home in Swat Valley; Malala was fifteen years old at the time.   A Taliban shooter managed to get a bullet through her head and neck, when it finally landed in her shoulder.  She was airlifted to a military hospital and life-saving measures were performed, including a five-hour surgery.  When she was stabilized, countries all around the world offered to treat her further in their hospitals.  She was taken to Germany and then to the U.K. where she began moving all four limbs and making a 100% recovery.
            How old is she now?  She is 21 years old. Today she is the director of her own non-profit, the Malala Fund; has co-written two books - a memoir of her life for adults and one for children; has a documentary made about her; and has been awarded numerous awards including the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.  What is she doing now?  In 2016 she began her life as a college student.  She is studying at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.  In August 2017, she was accepted to study Philosophy, Politics, and Economics as her major.

Source:  "Malala Yousafzai"

Meghan Kodiaga works in social work and is a member of Ivester Church of the Brethren in rural Grundy Center, IA.  She has had an interest in peace issues all her life, spending a summer during college on the Youth Peace Travel Team in the Church of the Brethren, traveling around the US and providing leadership at church camps on topics of peace. 

No comments:

Post a Comment