KARACHI: While some in Pakistan have been critical of Malala’s speech (including chief minister Shahbaz Sharif!), millions have been bowled over at home and abroad. The teenage activist, who was shot in the head by the Taliban last year for speaking up for women’s right to education, has become something of a role model who inspires people. Not only has the band Laal written a song about the 16-year-old, Oscar-winning film-maker Davis Guggenheim — who won an Oscar for the 2006 environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth, starring former US Vice President Al Gore – will direct a yet-to-be-titled documentary that is scheduled to release in late 2014.
The film will follow Malala’s campaign for children’s right to education, said producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who also produced the 2007 Afghan drama, The Kite Runner.
“There are a few stories Laurie and I have ever come across that are as compelling, urgent or important as the real-life struggle of Malala and her father Ziauddin on behalf of universal education for children,” Parkes said in a statement.
The film will be funded by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of government-owned Abu Dhabi Media, which is based in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
With its new track You Give Me Hope Malala, the band Laal pays tribute to her. The lyrics “maybe Malala will make them all see, How everybody could live as one…She gives me hope” were penned earlier this year.
“We wrote the lyrics a couple of months ago,,” says the band’s vocalist Mehwish Waqar, adding that it was recorded but not released because the track required amendments. “But when we saw the United Nations [UN] speech she gave, we decided the time was right.” Laal features lead guitarist and vocalist Taimur Rahman and Haider Rahman on flute.
“The response has been very good so far,” she continues. You Give Me Hope Malala was released on Tuesday on various websites including Vimeo and Facebook and the band is looking forward to sending it to radio stations and channels soon.
Waqar admits that the upbeat single’s music has been copied from Eddie Grant’s Give Me Hope Joanna. “It was very popular back in the day and we loved it growing up – so we basically copied the music,” she confesses.Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.
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