Malala Yousafzai celebrated her 16th birthday today by speaking for all children, even those of the Taliban. The Pakistani teenager addressed 1,000 youth leaders at the United Nations. Dressed in a traditional pink dress, she refused to back down from her stance on education, for which she was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban.
“Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons,” she said. “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”
Malala invoked Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi and other global advocates of non-violence stressing that “I’m not against anyone, neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban, or any other terrorist group.”
“I’m here to speak about the right of education for every child,” she said. “I want education for the sons and daughters of all the Taliban and all the terrorists and extremists. I do not even hate the Talib who shot me. Even if there is a gun in my hands and he stands in front of me. I would not shoot him.”
Malala said extremists kill students, especially girls, and destroy schools because they are afraid of the power of education and the power of women.
“We cannot succeed when half of us are held back,” she said, urging all communities to be tolerant and reject prejudice based on caste, creed, sect, religion or gender.
via HuffPost Impact
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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