They say that the pen is mightier than the sword and in these days, we should say that a blog is mightier than a weapon…sadly for 14 year old Malala Yousafzai, her wonderful and brave voice has been temporarily silenced by a gun.
This young girl bravely spoke out against the Taliban regime that threatened her education and her future. Originally through writing an anonymous blog (published on BBC Urdu), Malala was a lone voice telling the truth of what was happening under the Taliban occupation of Pakistan’s Swat Valley…her home. She was only 11 years old at the time and her blog helped to expose the harsh treatment under militant “barbarians”. Her voice spoke out when other adults would have been afraid to do so and through her blog, an international audience was able to hear what was really happening to the people who were living under such a regime.
Coming out from the protection of anonymity was an incredibly brave move and she was recognised for her work by receiving the Pakastani National Youth Peace Prize. Realizing that becoming known for being that blogger would put a target on her, Malala bravely continued on in speaking out for education for girls and life without oppression. Chillingly, Malala recognised the danger in January 2009, saying ‘On my way home from school to home, I heard a man saying “I will kill you”. I hastened my pace and after a while looked back to see if the man was still coming behind me. To my utter relief, he was talking on the mobile and must have been threatening someone else on the phone.’
Unfortunately, just a few years later, a bearded gunman boarded her school bus as she sat waiting to leave, asked for her by name and then shot Malala in the head and the neck. Though in critical condition, Malala is still alive and fighting for her life. Since the attack though, spokesmen for the militant regime have said that ‘even if she did survive, she would not be spared.’
Malala’s story highlights how powerful one lone blogging voice can be. Her bravery humbles me and yet inspires me to continue with my blog. I hope and pray that we will not lose such a wonderful voice from our vast, various blogging community.