|With the American first family - Exactly a year ago|
Malala Yousafzai is a symbol of human aspirations. What did she want apart from the simple things of life? Nothing. She wanted education, freedom to live her life as she would choose, and the space to dream. Why didn’t people give her that?
When she was shot point-blank as she was returning home from school, it was the innocence and aspirations of childhood that was assaulted. Malala was just 15 years old when she became the target of religious fundamentalists. She was a child. Why would a child be a threat to any religion? What kind of a religion is it that permits the murder of innocent children? The masked Taliban gunman who attacked Malala asked, “"Which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise I will shoot you all." His religious fervour was such that he could kill a whole lot of innocent school children. No normal human being can understand the relevance or meaning of such a religion.
“I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taleban. I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. My mother made me breakfast and I went off to school. I was afraid of going to school because the Taleban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools.” Malala wrote that in her BBC blog on 3 Jan 2009, three years before she was attacked by the Taliban.
A girl who wishes to study, a child who wants to have dreams and not nightmares – that was Malala. That is Malala. She is a symbol of the dreams of every child. The Nobel Prize Committee has done the right thing to honour her with the award. It has drawn the attention of the world to a serious issue: the child’s right to dream.