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Malala vows to step up fight for children’s education


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Malala Yousafzai (R) receives a trophy from Yemeni Civil Rights activist and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman after being honored with the International Children's Peace Prize at the Ridderzaal in the Hague, the Netherlands, on September 6, 2013. – AFP Photo
Malala Yousafzai (R) receives a trophy from Yemeni Civil Rights activist and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman after being honored with the International Children's Peace Prize at the Ridderzaal in the Hague, the Netherlands, on September 6, 2013. – AFP Photo

THE HAGUE: Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head last year by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education, vowed Friday to intensify her struggle for “a world where everyone can go to school.”

Speaking at a ceremony in The Hague, where she was awarded the 2013 International Children's Peace Prize, Malala said last October's attack on her had made her more determined than ever to continue her campaign.

“I was just one target for their violence,” Malala said in her acceptance speech, referring to her near-fatal shooting when a Taliban gunman's bullet grazed her brain. “There are many others for whom we must continue... so that children all over the world can have a right to go to school,” she said to thunderous applause.

Malala, 16, received her prize from the 2011 Nobel Peace laureate, Yemeni journalist and activist Tawakkol Karman, who told a humbled Malala “you are my hero.” “You cried: 'No one can stop me or any girl from learning',” Karman told Malala, speaking in Arabic in an address praising the Pakistani teen's achievement.

“The bullet aimed at your head at that moment was a milestone in the history of your country,” Karman said at the ceremony at the historic Knight's Hall near the Dutch parliament.

After she was shot, Malala was given life-saving treatment in Britain where she now lives.

Her brave fight for survival and her speech at the United Nations in July have made her a leading contender for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

But the response to her in Pakistan has been mixed, with many hailing her as a national heroine while others have criticised her for promoting a “Western” agenda.

The International Children's Peace Prize, an initiative of the Dutch-based KidsRights Foundation, was launched in 2005 and set off by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev when he chaired the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Rome.

It carries a cash value of 100,000 euros ($133,000) that is invested in projects relating to the winner's cause.

Last year's winner was 13-year-old Cris “Kesz” Valdez for his work with Filipino street children while he himself was destitute.

Comments (15) Closed

Sonal Sep 06, 2013 10:45pm

Great words, great intentions. Truly an inspiration. I had no hosh-o-awaaz when I was her age.

I will be keenly waiting to see what she becomes when she grows up. Even if 5% of her dream comes true, I think the world will be a better place.

imran Sep 06, 2013 11:02pm

Stop singing this Malala song please, we are so sick of this.

Anees Sep 06, 2013 11:31pm

Why don't you specify a special page for Malala? I am sick of this Malalalization. What is her contribution? Still we read about her before we go to bed and immediately after we get up in the morning.

Ram Krishan sharma Sep 07, 2013 02:04am

Malala is fit and well now and it is time for her to come back to her native country of Pakistan where she belongs and do some social awakening regarding children's education there. No use wasting her valuable time in lecturing to children in western countries who are already well looked after and know the value of education.

Jehan Mir,MD, California USA Sep 07, 2013 02:38am

The greatness of a country is judged by the character, courage, quality and vision of its People. Malala has certainly proven that Pakistan is indeed one of the geatest countries in the World.

Amjad Wyne Sep 07, 2013 07:16am

Malala is herself a child - I truly hope that she gets a chance in life to complete her education and learning too.

Jamshed Khan Sep 07, 2013 07:20pm

This is one of the biggest 'official' drama of all times.

Jamshed Khan Sep 07, 2013 07:25pm

When is Malala going to come back to Pakistan to work with and for the children of pakistan she is trying (and failing) to represent?

Nauman Sep 07, 2013 07:29pm

What's happening here !!? Amazed , message for malala come back to pakistan and serve your country. U being played. If ur so intellectual.

azhar Sep 07, 2013 07:47pm

She has done nothing, I don't know why the west is hailing her as hero

yousuf Memon Sep 08, 2013 10:10am

It's honour for Pakistan.

Manjit Sahota Sep 08, 2013 11:37am

While being maintained at the British Tax payers' expense, enjoying the company of many high and mighty and the limelight, what is she actually doing to further the cause of children's education in Pakistan? She is not needed in UK or Europe but in Pakistan and Africa.

Rashid Sultan Sep 08, 2013 01:38pm

She is being used to undermine an entire nation. While there are many reasons for illiteracy and lack of education, preventing girls from being educated, isn't the policy of the government or the majority of people in Pakistan or any other developing country. Young male children too are denied education due to circumstances. Surely there are other ways to get the message of education across.

J Khan Sep 08, 2013 03:41pm

@Sonal: I am sure you did not worked for any intelligence services at that age. If you had done than you would have known why!!! a second girl was short in the same incident with Malala. Do you even know the name of the other girl. have you ever though why Malala??

GRAIN OF TRUTH Sep 09, 2013 07:17pm

This is all thanks to the Talban. as they say god works in mysterious way.