You are here: Home People Speak One teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world: Malala Yousafzai
One teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world: Malala Yousafzai

Jul 15, 2013

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes, addressed hundreds of young people at the United Nations, urging them to use education as a weapon against extremism.

Malala Yousafzai

In the words of Malala: Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world.

Taliban's attack nine months ago changed nothing in my life, except that “weakness, fear and hopelessness died.

They shot my friends too. They thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed,” she said, adding that the incident instead gave birth to “thousands of voices.”

The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born. I am the same Malala. My ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. My dreams are the same.

“We call upon all Governments to ensure free compulsory education for every child all over the world,” she said, also calling on Governments to fight against terrorism and violence, to protect children from brutality and harm.

The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pens.  The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women.  Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.

So here I stand, “one girl among many. I speak – not for myself, but for all girls and boys. I raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.

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