Malala Yousufzai opens Europe's biggest library

Published: September 3, 2013
File photo of Malala Yousafzai. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/FILE

File photo of Malala Yousafzai. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/FILE

BIRMINGHAM: Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai opened Europe’s largest library on Tuesday, Express News reported.

The library is reported to have a million books in it.

Malala is a 16-year-old education activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban in Swat Valley in October last year during the Taliban occupation of the valley.

At the opening, Malala said that “pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism”, adding that “a city without books, a city without a library is like a graveyard.”

Addressing the crowd, she said “we must not forget that 57,000,000 children are out of school” and that “we must speak up for peace and development in Nigeria, Syria and Somalia.”

She added, “we must speak up for the children of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan who are suffering from terrorism, poverty, child labour and child trafficking.”

Malala recounted her own experience at school and said that she had read only seven books apart from textbooks assigned in class. She said that the culture in Birmingham was very different from Pakistan and that the people she encountered had read hundreds of books.

She also said that reading, knowledge and education are the only way to peace adding that even God chose the medium of a book to send his message to the people.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Shabir
    Sep 3, 2013 - 4:04PM

    Why not in Pakistan?


  • Xnain
    Sep 3, 2013 - 4:08PM

    Way to go Malala, we are proud of you!


  • G. Din
    Sep 3, 2013 - 4:43PM

    “From the mouth of babes!”


  • Anonymous
    Sep 3, 2013 - 4:57PM

    Wish she had opened that library in Pakistan instead, they already have plenty,


  • Kamran Hayder
    Sep 3, 2013 - 5:00PM

    Malala! i am proud of you:-)


  • Ahsan Raza
    Sep 3, 2013 - 5:08PM

    Unlike my Fellow countrymen, I am proud of this Girl’s strength and resolve.


  • Ali Tanoli
    Sep 3, 2013 - 5:20PM

    Malala seems joke to me she talking about India, Pakistan, Afghanistan kids and opening library in England hahaha i gues she is learning south asian politics.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 3, 2013 - 5:22PM

    Congratulation to our Princess. A great honour.


  • Thor
    Sep 3, 2013 - 5:27PM

    Why not in Pakistan?????


  • azmat khan
    Sep 3, 2013 - 5:50PM

    Long live Malala.Malala you are great, an ever shining star.


  • Blunt
    Sep 3, 2013 - 5:52PM

    Can one find a book over Aafia Siddiqui there?


  • jugni ka mama
    Sep 3, 2013 - 6:43PM

    why not in islamabad or peshawer or lahore?????


  • Sleep
    Sep 3, 2013 - 7:17PM

    For all those asking why not a liberary in Pakistan:
    Unlike Pakistan, libraries there are not rusting with dust and ignorance.
    Unfortunately Our pride lays with weapons and intolerance.


  • Ammar
    Sep 3, 2013 - 7:58PM

    Those who are wondering why she didn’t do any such thing in Pakistan, should understand that she did not ‘make’ that library. It was a very long prestigious project in the city of Birmingham funded by their own government. It is the central Library in Birmingham and had nothing to do with Malala during its conception. She only inaugurated it. If Pakistanis built libraries instead of Atom bombs maybe she would inaugurate those too.


  • Raj - USA
    Sep 3, 2013 - 8:02PM

    And Dr. Afia will open the biggest training institute in Waziristan, Pakistan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just waiting for her to be back in Pakistan.


  • Anum Dada
    Sep 3, 2013 - 10:24PM

    The British library has over 150 million books. Please get your facts right. It still is an amazing accomplishment


  • Sep 3, 2013 - 11:54PM

    On the creation of Pakistan, the Quaid-e-Azam had said to the youngest of Pakistanis, “You must concentrate on gaining knowledge and education. It is your foremost responsibility. Political awareness of the era is also part of your education. You must be aware of international events and environment. Education is a matter of life and death for our country.” Malala Yousufzia has echoed his thoughts at the inaugural of Europe’s largest library! It should be a proud moment for all Pakistanis as one of their own was given this honor. No one can deny that for a young country to succeed; it is necessary for its younger generation to seek knowledge and education. Pakistan is going through one of the most turbulent times of its history with rise in terrorism and fundamentalism. In the current environment, Malala’s statement that “books are the weapons to defeat terrorism” holds very true. The United States through USAID has been instrumental in the field of education. One of our major focuses in Pakistan has been education. We have invested in educational infrastructure as well as training of teachers, and we continue to do so. We understand that education is the only way a young country like Pakistan can compete and succeed in this challenging world.

    Abdul Quddus
    DET- United States Central Command


  • Natasha Mehmood
    Sep 4, 2013 - 10:19AM

    As much as we are proud of you Malala, I have certain ambiguities in my mind. I wish you do get my message.

    Ms. Malala, do you know that according to UNESCO (regional literacy rates) the literacy rate for Europe is 99.2% on average up till 2011? As a matter of fact, do you even have information about Pakistan being ranked 113th amongst the 120 nations regarding literacy rate in 2012?
    May be the seven books you read apart from text books didn’t give you much information that a library was most needed here, in Pakistan, your beloved country as you mention it. If not here, than any country that is deprived of education and needs to build its foundation to fight terrorism, poverty, child labor and many other lethal diseases that our nations suffer from.

    I should be proud of you because you did a good job and I would pray that Almighty Allah gives me the strength to be a part of an activity that benefits the mankind. My only concern is you lacking actual concern for the people most in need of it. May Allah bless you always!


  • dancing troy
    Sep 4, 2013 - 11:07AM

    Bravery, thy name is MALALA.


  • Pankaj
    Sep 4, 2013 - 11:44AM

    What a pathetic reporting !! it gives an impression that malala has so much money that she can ‘open’ such a big university. now what follows from it is that she is doing it in Europ and not in pakistan and makes her a villain of first degree in her own country for doing something good.
    I see a lot of support coming from pak for her but still people are there who are skeptical. I can understand their situcation Malala has become their own child in grip of others. since she has turned to be a valuable one so they are crying. what about ordinary ones ?


  • Bilal
    Sep 4, 2013 - 11:58AM

    May be the writer wanted to write “Inauguration” instead of “opens” in the title!!


  • Liaqat Ali
    Sep 4, 2013 - 2:31PM

    Come on guys; She inaugurated a libraray , which is same as opened in a sense, She does not own it nor did she buy books for it.It is an honour ciuty bestwowed on him like they do to other celebrities. Thats what MALALA IS NOW. I HOPE SHE DOES NOT BECOME A TOOL IN THE HANDS OF WEST BUT DOES GOOD FOR PAKISTAN AND GIRLS EDUCATION THROUGHTOUT THE WORLRD.

    she is a talented and brave girl. I salute her.


  • Paras Vikmani
    Sep 4, 2013 - 7:56PM

    Its unfortunate that some Pakistanis are ridiculing her.
    You guys should be proud of her!


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