Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Every day I complain, “Why do I have a class today?”, “Why can’t I buy the latest iPhone?”, “Why is the air conditioner so high?” and so on. The complaining and whining seemed so frivolous when I read about Malala Yousafzai.

Malala Yousafzai
Photo courtesy- The Guardian

Malala is a 15 year old girl who was shot in the head by Taliban because she wanted to attend school. She was only eleven when she started writing a blog for the BBC and when I read her blog I just couldn't picture her life. Living safe and sound in Dubai I can’t imagine waking up in the night to the sound of guns and helicopters.

In her Blog she writes:

"I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taliban. I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. I was afraid going to school because the Taliban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools. Only 11 students attended the class out of 27. The number decreased because of Taliban's edict”

I realized that I have a lot to be grateful for, It is easy to become self-centered and think that not having the latest phone as the biggest problem in life. Malala opened my eyes to a different kind of life, a life where everyday decisions involve whether to attend school or be shot at. 

It is easy to fight for ourselves but it takes a lot of courage to put ourselves in danger in order to fight for others. Just the thought of the Taliban sends shivers down my spine but Malala spoke against them and fought for the right of all girls to attend school.

She became famous when she was after the Pakistan government awarded her the first National Peace Prize (reference), in December 2011. “In a situation where a lifelong school break was being imposed upon us by the terrorists, rising up against that became very important, essential,” she told a Pakistani television network.

On 9th October 2012 Taliban militants attacked Malala while she was returning from school. Fortunately the bullet was lodged in her skull and her brain is safe. She was flown to London for further treatment. She is stable and out of danger and is making a steady degree.  

The Taliban have blown up hundreds of schools and 32 million girls in Pakistan are unable to attend school. I don't know how we can help these girls but we can always reflect upon ourselves and learn to be more grateful for what we have.

By Syeda Nawab Fathima

The writer is a media and communications student specializing in Journalism in Manipal University, Dubai.