Yesterday, July 12th, 2013, was Malala Yousafzai’s 16th birthday. Had the assassins of Taliban had their will, she would not have lived to see it. Instead, against all odds, against the thugs and the bullets of the Taliban, she stood before the United Nations, speaking on behalf of all those who are denied education and freedom by oppressors whose power rests solely on the ignorance and fear of the people they wish to dominate.
She did not speak of hate or revenge against those who tried to kill her. She spoke of love and hope, of the importance of knowledge, of the power of forgiveness, of the need for equal rights for all, of understanding and peace.
I am lucky enough to live in a country where education for children, girls and boys alike, is taken very much for granted. My daughters have the privilege of going to school without fear of their lives. I wish that this could be true for all children.
In our part of the world, the battle of Good against Evil is usually portrayed in the form of the likes of Harry Potters and Voldemorts, fictional heroes and villains for entertainment, when real battles are fought, often to the death, elsewhere in the world, by real people.
Malala is indeed the Girl who Lived, despite the efforts of the Voldemorts of Taliban. She shines a much needed light of courage and hope in a world where the darkness of fear and ignorance is used to hold people down. I wish her the best of luck in her continued efforts, and a long, healthy, happy life.