Martin Luther King Jr.
"When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful."
I Am Malala
Named after the famous Afghani poet and warrior, Malalai of Maiwand, Malala has become a symbol for women's rights and the enduraning spirit of truth amid suffering worldwide.
Malala was raised Muslim in the Pakistani city of Mingora, where her father ran schools for girls.
In this region it was common for women not to go to school at all.
Malala loved learning and going to school. She dreamt of one day becoming a teacher, a doctor, or a politician.
She learned three different languages including Pashto, English, and Urdu.
Her father always encouraged her to learn more and taught her that she could accomplish anything.
As the Taliban gained more control, they began to enforce new laws. Women would not be allowed to vote or have jobs. There would be no dancing, television, movies, or music. Eventually, the Taliban demanded that the girls schools be shut down. Girls schools that were not shut down were burned or destroyed.
"If you pick up a gun in the name of Islam and kill an innocent person, you are not Muslim anymore.
You do not share my faith." - Malala
Be peaceful and love everyone.
In 2009 Malala wrote about her life during the Taliban occupation of her home in Pakistan and the ban on girls’ education.
In 2012, aged 15, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman who boarded her school bus.
She recovered in Birmingham, England, where she and her family chose to remain.
On July 12, 2013, at the first ever Youth Takeover of the UN, Malala said:
"I do not even hate the Talib who shot me. Even if there is a gun in my hand and he stands in front of me, I would not shoot him. This is the compassion that I have learnt from Muhammad-the prophet of mercy, Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha. This is the legacy of change that I have inherited from Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. This is the philosophy of non-violence that I have learnt from Gandhi Jee, Bacha Khan and Mother Teresa. And this is the forgiveness that I have learnt from my mother and father. This is what my soul is telling me, be peaceful and love everyone".
In 2013, Yousafzai was awarded the International Children’s Peace prize and co-founded the Malala fund to champion the right of every girl to 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
In 2014, she received the Nobel Peace Prize.
"I am a Muslim, and I believe that if you pick up a gun in the name of Islam and kill an innocent person, you are not Muslim anymore. You do not share my faith."
"The world leads leadership based on serving humanity, not based on how many weapons you have. Canada can take that lead.
"Dear sisters and brothers, we have a responsibility to improve the world".
"Let them say, we were the first to live in a world where all girls could learn and lead without fear".
"Today, only a quarter of refugee children can get secondary education."
"Last summer, on a trip to Kenya, I was introduced to the bravest girl I’ve ever met.
At age 13, Rahma’s family fled Somalia and came to Dadaab — the world’s largest refugee camp.
She had never been inside a classroom — but she worked hard to catch up and, in a few years, graduated primary school.
At 18, Rahma was in secondary school, when her parents decided to move back to Somalia. They promised she could continue her education. But when her family returned to Somalia, there were no schools for her to attend. Her father said her education was finished and that she would soon marry a man in his 50s — a man she did not know.
Rahma remembered a friend from the refugee camp, who had won a scholarship to a university in Canada. She borrowed a neighbour’s Internet connection and contacted him through Facebook. Over the internet, the university student in Canada sent her $70.
At night, Rahma snuck out of her house, bought a bus ticket and set out on an eight-day trip back to the refugee camp — the only place she knew she could go to school.
Through the Sustainable Development Goals, our nations promised every girl she would go to school for 12 years. We promised that donor countries and developing countries would work together to make this dream a reality for the poorest girls in the world.
I know that politicians cannot keep every promise they make — but this is one you must honour. World leaders can no longer expect girls like Rahma to fight this battle alone." - Malala Yousafzi
Written On International Women's Day
Malala's message is simple, love women, love girls and help them to express who they truly are.
Let them learn. Let them help. Let them act. They will change our world for the better.
I happen to be writing this on international women's day. The perfect day to help spread Malala's spirit and message.
Malala is an incredible human being, and an amazing woman. Just her being on our planet brings hope and encouragement to many on for a better world. A world that is not seen outside of us, but comes from within.
As both a girl and a woman Malala has shown us how to be gentle and humble whilst powerful and strong. The balance her soul has developed on the never ending journey toward perfect love is inspiring, and we can all learn much from it.
People speak often of a man's world, but there is no such a thing. No world can exist without woman. This is our world collectively, but it has been dominated by men who cannot see the true value of woman (or often of anyone different).
This must change.
The expectations for women and the idealised image that the corporate beast has created are profoundly damaging to all of us. Our women will struggle to find and love themselves if everywhere they are surrounded by the image of something that they are not and can never be. Something no one can be, because it is not real. A false image of perfection.
False expressions in false settings selling false moments in a false reality will never bring true happiness..
If a person struggles to love themselves then how will they truly give love to others?
If woman cannot give love to man, how will she help nurture the heart of man as only woman, the mother, sister and wife of man, can. This is one of the most important jobs upon the Earth. Little on Earth should matter more to man than woman, yet we often see women repeatedly undervalued across the world. She is man's eternal partner in the endless labour of love, carried out by generations of people from every nation and culture. Only by working together will we change this world and evolve to become guardians of our planet, our children and our children's children. We depend upon each other to fulfil this purpose. To do it well, we must learn to love each other, and we must learn to work together.
I see men hurting women all too often, and I have hurt women in my life. Women have hurt me too, more than men ever could. I wish we did not do this to each other.
When Woman loves herself, she will be able to recognise men who truly love her.
She will not allow man to lie and cheat, to disrespect, undervalue or objectify her. She will recognise when he is misguiding and appreciate when he is correcting. This kind of love will help both to grow as a whole and to become open, honest and loving.
In the process of perfecting ourselves and loving each another we come to appreciate and understand our imperfections. In the end we become perfect either for love, or because someone loved our imperfections. Love is the great creator and sculptor of us all.
Man must help woman to love herself, by showing her how beautiful she truly is.
When a fully loving man joins with a fully loving woman then together they will raise a generation of girls and boys who love and value both each other and themselves. This is not that far away, as each such child will change the world into which they are born.
This is the way our world permanently changes for good, and once it starts it will never end, but we must start here, with each other.
I hope you are loving toward the women in your life. I hope you are loving toward yourself.
I hope you are growing in understanding, and forgiving of your inevitable mistakes.
We must learn to recognise and value our differences, or we will create a world of beings too scared of individual expression. We must see the difference between our mistakes and our identity. We must learn to forgive. People are so scared of being judged for who they are that they are forced to act the same as everyone else. Such an existence is not life, but a performance.
I love women for many reasons, especially for putting up with men, but their gentle strength and emotional intelligence amazes me. They amplify all of our joys and heal much of our pain. When they drive us to become better it is incredible, but when they control or manipulate it is horrible. Let them show us who they truly are. Let them learn.
Whether it be with brush upon canvas, chalk upon floor or spray upon walls let me war. Whether fist against bone or face against snow let me play war. Let my dance partners be in the cage and in the ring, on the fields and in the playground. Let us find the limit of our bodies together. Let us test our balance, our strength, our endurance, our awareness, our skill and our heart.
Let man play war with his brother. This is our game, and we have played it for all of time. There is no need to stop it.
We must only help it evolve into peace.
One day our game will set all man free.
We have been given different gifts and we develop in different ways. Let us enjoy both without hindering those who choose a different path. Let us celebrate the beauty of all humanity and let woman evolve beyond man's ideas of what she is.
These are often invisible to men, and I learned these much later in life from women.
I would live to see us being free from all divisions and beginning to truly embrace the discovery of who we really are, the inner light of all creation shining back through living, feeling, loving mirrors.
Women love, heal, guide, help and make life beautiful and wonderful for all of us. We must all help nurture and protect our girls and they will nurture and protect us, often from ourselves. If we fail to do this, we fail the whole world.
I do not believe in the kind of equality many in western media promote today. Men and women are different, and those differences are so beautiful. I am sad to see a false idea of equality eroding the distinction between feminine and masculine energy for many today.
Do not misunderstand me, I believe completely in freedom of expression and the discovery of ones self, but I do not believe man and women will ever be equal in the way western culture seems to desire. We can create artificial arenas of competition and metrics by which we measure man and woman equally capable, but I will always choose woman for my sister and man for my brother.
We must help girls to be women, not the imitation of blind men.