Shot in the head, and ready to lead…

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With her talents, oratory skills, and relevant Oxford University graduation degree—Malala has followed the footsteps of Pakistan’s woman Prime Minister of Pakistan—Benazir Bhutto. Her voice was silenced before she could gather momentum. Behind the curtain, men in Uniform are in consensus. She may be entrusted with the opportunity to lead Pakistan.

By Nazarul Islam

We have seen two exciting pictures, shared by 22 year old global icon, and crusader for education —Malala Yousafzai. One can see her smiling face, wrapped up in confetti. A beautiful young girl, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan in. Her enemies thought they had put an end to a life that was also the voice of reason. For years, Malala had successfully campaigned for girls’ education, in her country.

Fast forward….She went on to become the youngest Nobel peace prize winner in 2014.

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist and youngest recipient ever of a Nobel Peace Prize, has graduated from Oxford University, she said on Friday. And if one wonders what comes next for one of the world’s most famous girls’ education advocates and Laureate Ms. Yousafzai, who had shared her plans by acknowledging, ‘she did not know.’ But a longing for sleep, books, and Netflix have remained at the top of her wish-list.

“Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford,” Ms. Yousafzai wrote on Twitter, as she shared a picture with her family and one taken after a “trashing,” a ceremony in which students are covered with confetti, foam and food after completing their exams.

Ms. Yousafzai began studying at Oxford in October 2017, after she was formally accepted earlier that year at one of its colleges, Lady Margaret Hall, where Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, studied in the 1970s. Much before she had graduated, she was widely revered for her beliefs and her visions of Taliban-free society in Pakistan.

Her beliefs had been widely hailed across the globe. She was the voice of reason, talking to Presidents, Prime Ministers, thinkers and statesmen, around the world, accepting accolades from those who had welcomed her with open arms. Ms. Yousafzai completed the Philosophy, Politics and Economy degree, one of the university’s most prestigious combinations.

All students were asked to leave Oxford, about 55 miles northwest of London, in March after it closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some buildings are scheduled to gradually reopen over the summer, and the university has said it plans to open to all students for the 2020-2021 Academic Year.

Ms. Yousafzai, who was born and raised in the most beautiful Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan, was only 15 (in 2012) when Taliban gunmen shot her in the head and critically wounded her because of her strong criticism of the group’s attempts to prevent girls from going to school. At the time of the shooting, she was writing on a blog for the BBC’s website about life under the Taliban in Pakistan. She was encouraged by her father, who ran one of the last schools in the area that had continued to educate girls.

Ms. Yousafzai was transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city, where doctors treated her for months, and where she and her family relocated permanently that same year. Ms. Yousafzai later founded, with her father, the Malala Fund, a nonprofit organization advocating girls’ education. More than 132 million girls worldwide do not attend any school, according to UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, and girls living in countries affected by conflict are twice likely to be left without an education than those in other places.

In 2014, at age 17, Ms. Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian campaigner for children’s rights, jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize. “It seems like pressure, but it’s not pressure,” Ms. Yousafzai said about the prize when it was awarded. “It’s strength and encouragement.

Again, in 2018, she returned to Pakistan for the first time since she was wounded in the Taliban attack, for a tightly organized visit that was characterized by heavy security measures. “For the last five years, I have dreamed of being able to set foot in my country,” she said in an emotional speech.

At Oxford, Ms. Yousafzai said, she joined the cricket club; the Oxford Union, a debating society; and the Oxford Pakistan Society.

“A few — well, many — times, I started an essay at 11 p.m. the night before it was due,” she wrote in Vogue in 2018. One of Ms. Yousafzai’s next goals will likely be finding a job. “Currently unemployed,” she wrote in an Instagram post on Friday.

She is well on her way to an exciting career in leadership—something her country badly needed, in the wake of past corrupt and misguided politicians of her country. Perhaps she has built up a favorable public opinion for herself around the globe. Her interactions with global leaders had set her pace, and put world leaders at ease. They want an educated, soft voice of sanity and reason to lead the future, Pakistan.

With her talents, oratory skills, and relevant Oxford University graduation degree—she has followed the footsteps of Pakistan’s woman Prime Minister of Pakistan—Benazir Bhutto. Her voice was silenced before she could gather momentum.

She is a darling of Pakistan’s poor struggling masses, suffering from poor health, malnutrition, gender discrimination, poor quality of education and poverty. Where, women are lucky if they have a say before men—even in their domestic lives. Behind the curtain, men in Uniform are in consensus. She may be entrusted with the opportunity to lead Pakistan, into another decade of pride and progress.

Good luck, to you Malala. We wish you all success as Pakistan’s upcoming candidate for the office of Prime Minister. Your courage and conviction speak for you. May you be afforded the chance to lead Pakistan!

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The Bengal-born writer is a senior educationist settled in USA. He writes regularly for Sindh Courier and the newspapers of Bangladesh, India and America.  

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