Joined by her father Ziauddin Yousafzai and long-time friend and supporter Shiza Shahid, Malala inspired a full house at the 92nd Street Y, in addition to countless more streaming the event live across the world.
Ten months ago the 16 year old was shot by the Taliban and survived. Of her experience, Malala told the United Nations Foundation’s Elizabeth Gore, “When I feel the love and support of people I forget the incident ten months ago. When I look at smiles, support, and love I think I am the luckiest. I am the most lucky girl. You all stood up for me.”
Malala’s father Ziauddin spoke passionately of the need to educate. “Extremists are afraid of books and pens,” he said. “In the U.S. and Europe education is taken for granted. It’s up to the rich states to think of the children who don’t have books, water, basic human rights. If we think differently it makes a big difference.”
Malala’s closing remarks were indicative or her maturity and spirit, as she explained that, given the chance, she would not exact revenge on the Taliban. “If I shoot him or be cruel, there would be no difference between me and the Talib, no difference between a peaceful person and a Talib. Another thing: I learn every day from everyone. I have learned from Mohammed, Peace Be Upon Him…and [people like] Martin Luther King, Junior. He said, ‘I have a dream.’ He didn’t know that tomorrow his dream would come true. I want to see girls educated. Right now that seems a dream, soon it will be reality. We will see peace all over the world.”
Take Action Challenge
Follow Malala’s example and work by joining the campaign to support The Malala Fund. Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Share why this work is important to YOU. Also, be on the lookout for Malala’s book, which will hit the shelves soon. As Malala says, “There is much to do with the energy surrounding these issues.”