Introduction- ” We realise the importance of our voices, only when we are silenced”. A meaningful quote from someone, who’s voice was once silenced. Today I will be talking to you about Malala Yousafazi, a leading activist for children’s rights, and the youngest ever nobel peace prize winner. From this speech, I hope to inform you about her courageous story, and the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone, too achieve great things.
Body ( 1st point) early life and living circumstances
Malala Yousafzai- An ordinary teenager.. just like you. But you see, this teenager has turned her life into an incredible, strident story, and I believe, this story needs to be heard. Born on the 12th of July, 1997, her family new it was indisputable Malala would make a difference to this outspoken society, the day she emerged into this world, and that is exactly what she did. Malala Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Pakistan. Pakistans culture and society at the time of Malalas upbringing, force her to face challenges and upsets for most of her childhood. She was born into a lower-middle class family in the heart of the Swat Valley district, and shared the same love for education as her father did. A passion for education, is what created Malalas influential story.
When Malala was just a child, she was continuously frustrated by the talibans efforts to control the swat valley district, and there attempt to ban girls from going to school. For Malala and her family, education was one of the most important aspects in life.The taliban enforced this law, that all girls were prohibited to attend schools in 2009, claiming females education was a contrary to islam. Malala was just 11 at the time, and was outraged by this law, as it was truly sexist and unfair. Imagine having your education rights taken away from you, just because someone said so. Never being able to get a proper education that will get you a job and earn you a living. This is the reality that Malala had to live with. The reality that she will never have the right to go to school, to get an education and to become something great, strictly because she is female. This scenario, can only be a figure of imagination for everyone in this room , but for the girls of Pakistan, this was there reality. This was there life.
point 2- Speaking out/becoming noticed
So how did Malala Yousafzai go outside her comfort zone to stand up for what she believes in? In January, 2009, Malala was offered the chance to write a diary about life under the taliban, for a BBC website. She wrote in secrecy, using a fake name so the taliban wouldn’t know who was writing the diary. Her first diary entry was published on the 3rd of January, 2009, titled ” I am Afraid”. After many diary entries explaining the danger of living among a terrorism attack , Malala’s story’s reached out to many reporters across the globe. From then on, the interviews were a ritual in her life.
Malala wasn’t afraid to speak out. She believed her voice, her opinion, her rights, were deserved to be heard, and they were. As a result of the attention she gained, she became a target for the taliban. Malala began receiving death threats. She was just 15 at the time. think about it. Thats most of the people in this room. Can you imagine, feeling unsafe, everywhere you went. Constantly looking over your shoulder. Knowing you are wanted dead for voicing your opinion. Your school, your house, even your own bedroom. Everywhere you go, a constant reminder that you are not safe, that you are being hunted, like some kind of animal. Its a daunting situation that no one would want to be apart of, but yet, Malala wasn’t scared, she believed her fight for females rights was much bigger than some silly threat.
Point 3- getting shot
So by now I bet you are all wondering what makes this particular female activist so special? Why does her story stick out from all the rest of the women in this world, fighting for there rights for education? October 9th, 2012 . This was a day, Malalas life was turned even more upside down than it had ever been. Picture this. A school bus filled with school girls, on there way home from a long day at school. Malala was among them. the bus all of a sudden comes to a hault. A gunman climbed onto the back of the bus and asked ” which one is Malala”.Without hesitation, 3 bullets were fired right into the side of Malalas head. Leaving the bus filled with school girls screaming in horror, as Malala collapses to the ground.
Around 3 months later, Malala was discharged from Birmingham Hospital in the UK. Doctors could only describe her survival as nothing short of a miracle. The bullet that was fired from the gunman on October 9th, took a path that simply could not be believed. As the bullet heads towards Malalas brain, it hits a bone so strong, it forces the bullet to ricochet away from the brain, hitting her air drum instead. This scenario, is a miracle too say the least.
Bur after all Malalas pain and suffering through out her childhood, she continued to speak out about the importance of education, even though it nearly had her killed. This is one of the true reasons Malala stands out to me. Her stubbornness to keep voicing her opinion and worries to the world, makes her even more extraordinary than she already was. And if thats not enough, Malala went on to be the youngest person ever to receive a noble peace prize.
Malala Yousafzai life hasn’t been a fairytale, quite the opposite actually. But with her voice and courage, she has gone from an ordinary school girl no one new about, to an education activist, a gun shot victim, the youngest every noble peace prize winner, and even has a specific day of the year, honouring this young leaders activism in education rights, known as “Malala Day”. Malala is a strong example of what can happen if you step outside your comfort zone, and reach for something that seems to far away to be achieved. She helps us understand the importance of our own opinions and beliefs. Malala Yousafazi has inspired so many people in this world, not only teaching them about education rights, but also about the revolution that our voices do matter, and we all, deserve to be heard. Today I have talked to you about Malala Yousafzai, her early life, how she influenced this society, and the end result to her desired activism. I hope that from this speech, you have gained the awareness that every voice can be heard, and that we can all be just as powerful and influential, as Malala Yousafzai.