Our fourth Yarn tone is named Malala after Malala Yousafzai.
Malala is known to most people as the fifteen year old Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the face for wanting an education. Surviving being shot in the face didn’t deter Malala from speaking out for girls education which just shows the determination of Malala and her family.
Perhaps not so well known is that Malala’s activism for girls education didn’t start on that bus ride home at 15, but started much earlier as an anonymous 11 year old blogger for the BBC Urdu website.
Her father was an educator and encouraged Malala to get her education because he remembered growing up in a world where his sisters unable to be educated. He wanted more for his daughter and put her name forward to write the anonymous blog which would describe life under Taliban rule.
Malala wrote anonymously until the end it seemed freedom had come and girls were allowed to attend school again.
After the Taliban returned her family were split up and Malala ended up living with relatives, then the New York Times made a documentary about Malala and as she became more known her anonymity began to end.
With the news that again the Taliban had been forced out of their home the family returned, but now the death threats arrived. Both Malala and her father received death threats for their support of women’s education.
The eventual shooting happened as Malala travelled home from taking an exam. A gunman got on the bus and asked Malala to identify herself otherwise all the girls would be shot. She was then identified and shot in the face.
‘I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world’
Malala Yousafzai – Activist
I don’t think there is need to say more about why Malala is an inspiration, although there is a lot more that can be said. To be as young as eleven and knowingly put your life on the line to make the world better for yourself and others is courage beyond measure.