annam1Annam Lodhi

So after I saw Malala’s speech – I was so inspired, I felt this rush of pride for someone I didn’t even really know. When I thought of translating my emotions into writing, I could not gather what to write down for someone whom the world already knows.

Before I could pick up my pen, I was reminded by a friend that back then I had a totally different reaction to the whole Malala episode. Like many, I had doubts about the veracity of the incident and I was reluctant to extend my support for her. I thought it was yet another trick to further defame Pakistan. But I never remained too much strict in this belief. So meanwhile I have been paying visit to many of the educational initiatives sparked as a result of her shooting. I sat among the audience listening to people speaking for women rights and education. But the doubts remained. I seldom felt that all these speeches for women rights come truly from the heart. I also conjectured that these people might have some personal benefit out of it, otherwise who does all this for others in today’s world? Nothing was convincing until I, with an impartial mind, watched Malala speak.


As I watched her speaking at the UN, receiving a standing ovation, her ethnic dress, Benazir’s shawl, her father’s ear to ear smile filled with true pride, her mother’s tears filled face, and her brother’s perplexity; it’s rather hard not to be moved.

It must be a dream for any striving person to stand in front of such a prestigious global audience and speak one’s mind out. When most of the girls of her age are busy on their mobile phones or surfing the internet, she, at such a tender age, paid such a heavy price for her passion, for the simple wish of being educated without any coercion and fear of violence.

Many of us still have many presuppositions against her, like since no one gains so much attention and worth at such an age, this must be someone behind her orchestrating and whole issue. As a later open letter by a Taliban leader shows, she did confront the terrorists. Though I still have my own share of doubts about the objectives and tactics of terrorists but the way she spoke so clearly about what Islam truly means and how these terrorist were just a bad stamp on it, is truly enlightening.

Malala’s confidence struck me like a lightening; her words were well constructed and full of passion. If this spirit for education, women empowerment and freedom from violence survives in our society, then our country has a future. And if most of the girls in our society start thinking the way she does, then there is no stopping of growth.
Like it or not, today she is a global symbol of education for girls. Her effort and resulting suffering did open many hearts and minds within Pakistan. Our government has faced unprecedented pressure for bringing better education policies into effect. After decades of misleading priorities, people seem to be concerned about education more than ever before.

Education is truly the mightiest pen. Let’s make each day Malala Day by striving for something better. In our luxurious lives, we tend to ignore the importance of things taken for granted like education. We study each day but do we truly understand what is at stake? Like she said, “I stand one for all”, we should all stand together for times to come. Let’s become Malala at least for ourselves for pushing ourselves for a better tomorrow.

In case if you still have doubts about Malala, just watch her speech with an open heart.

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