Jul. 17th, 2013

One voice

Jul. 17th, 2013 10:10 pm
snowstormskies: (Pretty Tom)



“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.”

Emily Dickinson










This is a video of Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan. She was shot by the Taliban for the 'crime' of promoting education and women's rights in her home region of the Swat District, an area controlled by the Taliban.

She survived, and has now become an ambassador and public speaker for the right for education, and women's activism, as well as being awarded a host of peace prizes and activist allocades.

Her speech to the UN conference a few days ago is long, but every word is worth listening to. It's beautiful to hear her speak about her dream for the world, and how education transforms lives, and will change the way people behave. Her bravery to get up, and continue her activism, even though the Tabilan has recently issued continued calls for her and her father's deaths because they promote equality, education, and change is immense.

She previously blogged about education, and life in the Swat District from within an area of significant political unrest under a psuedonym, and spoke abotu education in public from as early as 2008. She would handwrite letters, and pass them along to a BBC reporter, even after a classmate had turned down the same assignment out of fear for her own safety, and continued to write her diary and record documentaries despite vast amounts of civil and political unrest, even when her school shut down, and she was removed to the country for her own personal safety.

On the 9th of October 2012, she was shot by the Taliban while returning from taking an exam with friends. Because they were afraid of her words. Her activisim. Her drive to ask for more, for better. Because they didn't understand her goal, only feared it.

And now, after surgery after surgery, and being airlifted around the world, from Pakistan to Dubai to England, she has continued her call for education around the world, and for women's rights and equality to be recognised and accepted.

Here's just a small extract from her speech on the 12th of July 2013, at the UN conference.

"Dear sisters and brothers, we realize the importance of light when we see darkness. We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced. In the same way, when we were in Swat, the north of Pakistan, we realized the importance of pens and books when we saw the guns. The wise saying, "The pen is mightier than the sword." It is true. The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them."

There is a transcript of her speech here , the video link here, and her wikipedia page discussed her previous history in much greater depth


I felt like after yesterday's opinion on words being harmful, we needed something much more powerful in a good way. This is how to use your words to change the world.

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