Malala Day: Paying tribute to teen icon

Participants stress importance of carrying on struggle.

Maryam Usman/riazul Haq July 12, 2013
The participants also cut a birthday cake for Malala. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/FILE


Ideas are bulletproof. This saying reflects Malala’s struggle for girls’ education in a war-ravaged Swat. She took a bullet in the head for campaigning for girls’ education and embodies the dreams of every girl who wants a better life.

Journalists and civil society members gathered to observe Malala Day, that coincided with Malala’s 16th birthday at Hill View Hotel on Friday. The participants also cut a birthday cake for Malala.

Danish Ambassador Uffe Wolffhechel in his address said, “Malala has set an agenda for discussion on girls’ education as a means to a better future, not only in Pakistan but also the rest of the world.”

Filmmaker and rights activist, Samar Minallah screened a seven-minute version of her documentary, “We are all Malala,” shot in Ghalanai in 2010. Education is our girls’ dream, why is it considered  a Western ideology or conspiracy? she asked.

“Pakistan is blessed with thousands of Malalas, whom we need to provide a safe country to prosper and fulfill their dreams,” said Minallah, explaining the aim of the documentary. Kishwar Naheed’s poem, “Woh bachiyon se bhee darr gaye” highlights the gist of the documentary.

The Express Tribune Executive Editor Mohammad Ziauddin said, “Malala is an icon. She has shown a way forward  that should inspire the whole nation and aid in dispelling cultural taboos.”

The event was organised by the South Asian Free Media Association.

More funding for girls’ education urged

To commemorate Malala Day, a group of thirty students from the capital presented a resolution to State Minister for Education Muhammad Balighur Rehman at his office calling for girls’ right to education and increase budgetary allocation.

“Pakistan ranks amongst the lowest in terms of girl’s education enrolment, literacy and budgetary allocation, which necessitates the need for concerted efforts to declare an education emergency,” said Plan International Pakistan Country Director Rashid Javed. The students’ visit was arranged by Plan International, a non-governmental organisation.

Out of 2.2 million enrolled students, 42% are girls, according to Pakistan Education Statistics 2010-11.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2013. 


Sonia Butt | 10 years ago | Reply

Birthday Wishes to Malala a courageous outspoken young lady who survived a bullet from the treacherous Taliban. These monsters did not realize that their vicious act has given Malala the platform to speak for the rights of girls to secure education. It has also highlighted another issue how the citizen men of Pakistan allowed a young daughter of Pakistan to nearly be killed by the Taliban & up to this day no one has paid for this crime. For a country that gave Osama Bin Laden free residence gives the world no surprise that they allow the Taliban free permission to run crazy their reign of terror. Pakistanis do not have the courage...strength...will & urge like the people of Egypt, Syria, Libya to stage mass demonstrations of protests to remove the ingredegents of terror to allow their girls basic rights to get an education. Let Pakistanis get no satisfaction, that even though Malala might be a Pustun-Pakistani a daughter of the nation, she wore the shawl of Benazir Bhutto her hero at the UN the men of Pakistan were unable to protect Bhutto. While Malala & the world celebrates her birthday Pakistan should bow its head in shames as ker assails roam freely.

Basim | 10 years ago | Reply

Commendable speech by Malala.. Amazing spirit. Proud to see her back again

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