icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


A Writer Struck Down

Malala Yousafzai, the first Pakistani child nominated by Unicef for the Peace Award on Universal Children’s Day, has been gunned down by the Taliban. “She is our daughter,” the President of Pakistan said when he heard the news.

As I write, the doctors are trying to stabilize Malala enough to be moved to Dubai for state-of-the art treatment. Let us hope—and pray if we pray—that she makes it. Two other girls were also injured in the attack which, as I understand it, took place in broad daylight on a bus.

Malala began writing when she was very young—eleven years old—about her life as a young girl in the Taliban-controlled Swat region of Pakistan. She is now only fourteen and the author of a blog that is published in Urdu by the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7834402.stm. Even in the English translation, the entries are breathtaking—concise, clear, and urgent. Reading them today, I am concerned about the young girls in Afghanistan who have been enjoying school under the American occupation, but will be endangered again once our troops are withdrawn and the Taliban reclaims the government. More than certainly, this will happen.

Living so far away in a land where—despite our own hardships—comfort, universal education, and the freedom to write and speak, are taken for granted for most of us, I am wondering, apart from solidarity and our own blogs, what we can do to help Malala and others like her. Does anything we say or write make a difference?

Oddly, Malala’s name in Urdu means “grief stricken,” and she wanted to change it to her pen name, Gul Makai. I do not believe in portents, but I am grief stricken about Malala—what she has had to endure even before this assassination attempt—and will dedicate my class to her tonight.  Read More 
Be the first to comment