Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Malala - The Brave Chronicler

Malala Yousufzai, a brave young girl, who during Taliban's Occupation of Swat chronicled her struggles to protect her homeland from being pushed to stone-age, was shot at by Unknown Gunmen. The Taliban have accepted responsibility for this attack, even giving a laundry list of justifications for targeting a child.

جدا ہو دیں سیاست سے تو رہ جاتی ہے چنگیزی

Alike the Afghan Queen Malalai of Maiwand, a Pashtun poet and warrior woman, who routed the British in the Second Anglo-Afghan war in 1878, 14-year old Malala Yousafzai achieved a similar feat. Her resilience and courage helped rout the mindset that opposed Female Education in the Swat Valley.

Malala rose to international fame for chronicling the plight of children for the BBC under the penname Gul Makai, during the Taliban Insurgency years.

"In 2008, when the Taliban imposed a ban on girls’ education in Swat, I floated an idea to publish a diary from any schoolgirl in Swat, to lend a human touch to the tragedy", said Abdul Hai Kakar, a former BBC Urdu journalist in Peshawar.

"I contacted her father, Ziauddin, to find a girl who could write the diary for the BBC but he could not find anyone – everyone was afraid", Kakar said.

“Ziauddin offered that his daughter can write, under her real name, but I gave her a pseudonym Gul Makai, for security reasons", he added.

The Blog, starting in late 2008, was published weekly.

"I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taliban. I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. My mother made me breakfast and I went off to school. I was afraid going to school because the Taliban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools", Gul Makai writes on January 3, 2009.

In November 2011, Malala was nominated for International Children Peace Prize by Dutch organisation KidsRights. She did not receive the award, but the government of Pakistan decided to acknowledge her efforts, and awarded her the first-ever national Peace Award. The award was also named after her.

Once recalling the Swat Nightmare Malala said "Taliban were pushing Swat back to the stone age with attacks on female education".

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