Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Am Malala

Friday morning was rushed and hurried, as I was late for my broadcast writing class and arrived to realize I had not studied for our quiz- whoops (I ended up doing pretty well!). With no time to check my phone or my daily Foreign Policy emails (#nerd), I was out of the loop until I sat down for lunch. The first thing I saw when I opened Twitter was that #Malala was trending. And then I saw it- Malala Yousafzai, the girl who stood up to the Taliban, had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

I don't write about my love of international affairs as much as I'd like to on the blog. Obviously not everyone is interested in that kind of stuff and yes, I will go back to fashion and lifestyle soon, but since Saturday was International Day of the Girl I thought this post was appropriate.

I love Malala. I love her work, I love everything that she stands for, I love that she is finally recognized internationally and that she is now the youngest Peace Prize winner in history. This girl is seventeen. What did I do when I was seventeen? I definitely wasn't campaigning for education and girls' rights around the world.

Lydia and I saw Malala, her father Ziauddin, and the head of the Malala Fund, Shiza Shahid, at the Mashable Social Good Summit last September. She wasn't originally on the list, probably to keep a low profile, but once we found out she was coming the second day we nearly had a collective heart attack.

She. Was. Amazing. Lydia and I took seats in the front of the theater, and we were prepared to fight for our spots. When I realized, as she was speaking, that I was really in the same room as Malala, I couldn't believe it. If you want to read more about our experience at Social Good, I wrote about it for The College Tourist. Tears were definitely shed.

I read Malala's biography over the summer, where she details how her father became involved with education, how she started blogging for the BBC when she was nine, and how she became a target of the Pakistani Taliban. It's both inspiring and humbling to see what people around the world go through every day. We often forget this, living in such a privileged country, but even in America people struggle to get an education every day.

Sure, there are lots of arguments for why Malala shouldn't have won the prize- she was nominated last year and did not win. But I'm all for it. She has been fighing

If you want to know more about Malala, her appearance on The Daily Show is a pretty good place to start, or you can check out the Malala Fund

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