Malala Yousafzai: Back to School … in England

164477_458393134227246_376625189_nRight in the middle of Women’s History Month, we have a beautiful new inspiration — a young feminist has started a new chapter of her life. People around the world should be clapping as the fifteen-year-old Pakistani education activist and BBC blogger, Malala Yousafzai, attended her first day of school at Edgbaston High School in Birmingham, England. In good spirits, and offering a half smile for the press, Malala is living her dream of continuing her education.

Last October the world was introduced to Yousafzai after an assassination attempt was made on her life by the Taliban in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. Malala has overcome a plethora of obstacles unfathomable to us in the developing world. This young equal education activist wrote about her experiences of living in Pakistan while under the rule of the Taliban. Her BBC Blog first appeared on January 2009 and had regular posts for over three years before its final post was made in March, 2012.

Following in her father’s footsteps of education activisms, Yousafzai used her blog to voice her concerns and questioned the Taliban for the closure of the girls’ schools throughout her region. Therefore, Malala became a Taliban target. On October 9th, 2012 Yousafzai and two of her female classmates were shot while in route home from school. It is said that a masked man entered their van and asked, “Which one of you is Malala?” And then, the man opened fire. Yousafzai was hit by one bullet that caused multiple wounds as it traveled through her head, neck and shoulder. After months of intensive treatments at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Yousafzai was released from the hospital on January 3rd of this year.

Malala Yousafzai is someone to watch. Her future is filled with opportunities as she embraces life in a developed and war free country, continues her education and persues her political dreams. Yousafzai is a young human rights activist rising out of the dust of a war to speak out for equal education for girls in developing nations. In 2011 she won Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize. Last month she received multiple nominations for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. I have a feeling we will be seeing and hearing more from Malala Yousafzai in the future. I see her fighting for equal education for many years to come.

This week, as she went back to school, she told the press, “I want all girls in the world to have this basic opportunity.”

Leah Sipress is a happily married stay at home Mom to two high energy little characters ages 2 and 4. She first started her blog to keep a digital scrapbook of her family’s activities for relatives out of state and has since found a passion through writing. As a recent University of Washington Tacoma graduate with a BA in Urban Studies, and a community volunteer, she spends her time with her family enjoying the great outdoors.

Image via official Malala Yousafzai Facebook page

  • Beverly Uhlmer

    I work with a conservative legislative action group in Texas and am not usually on board with many of your posts. However, on this issue we are certainly on the same page. One of the bills that our group will sponsor in the Texas legislature designates that only Constitional law may be used in any Texas court. There are already a few instances where judges have allowed the implementation of Shariah law in certain religious cases. This is a frightening prospect when you understand the tenants of Sharia law. These include honor killings, arranged marriage for girls as young as nine, beheading of anyone who leaves Islam, amputation of hands for theft…you get the picture. With the Taliban in power in Afghanistan there is virtually no hope for women as the men will never allow them to have the rights that we consider unalienable in our nation. Such a sad situation when you consider how many Americans have died to try to change this backward culture.

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