Young Female Activist Shot on School Bus

October 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

“KARACHI, Pakistan — At the age of 11, Malala Yousafzai took on the Taliban by giving voice to her dreams. As turbaned fighters swept through her town in northwestern Pakistan in 2009, the tiny schoolgirl spoke out about her passion for education — she wanted to become a doctor, she said — and became a symbol of defiance against Taliban subjugation.

On Tuesday, masked Taliban gunmen answered Ms. Yousafzai’s courage with bullets, singling out the 14-year-old on a bus filled with terrified schoolchildren, then shooting her in the head. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack.”

The New York Times recently did a short documentary on Malala and her family. You can watch it here, along with the article cited above.
Malala is now in stable condition, after four hours of surgery on Tuesday.

Some feel that Malala was put in danger by her media exposure. That she is only a young girl and shouldn’t have been used so prominently as a poster-child of civil disobedience. But this places the blame on those speaking out for freedom. And it cheapens Malala’s courage and understanding of just how dangerous her world had become. Even with her short life experiences, her diary notes depict that she understood the situation very well. She was brave.

We send our daughters, our sisters, our nieces, and perhaps ourselves off to school without fear of their harassment or targeted and imminent death. We watch them board the school bus without concern that masked gunman will do the same, looking for them. I knew previously that others do not have this luxury–that each day of female education is an act of courage and disobedience for them–but the story and documentary of Malala and her family reminded me of that unjust reality.

I now live and work in the realm academia. I only hope that I would be so courageous if, one day, I had to fight to stay there. 

I take too much for granted. 

The Bell Tolls…


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