It is said in our part of the world that the daughters, as compared, to the sons do their parents proud. Malala (in Pushto, meaning flower of the corn), is not doing the whole nation but the whole world proud and hence qualifies to be called the daughter of the world. Malala is doing a relentless jihad against poverty, ignorance, oppression and tyranny. Her mere presence reminds us every single moment that it is not Herculean strength that can move mountains, but the strong will, determination and commitment to a cause, can do so.
No pun intended, the daughter of the nation or rather of the world is doing the whole world proud, not by twerking, singing raunchy songs or by taking off her clothes in front of millions. No, not that way. She is doing the world proud by fighting and overcoming one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the other, like a professional sprinter competing in a steeple chase race.
You would not expect much from someone born in a low income family, and to top it in an undeveloped country, Pakistan. Not much, would you? But Malala, only 16, has achieved so much that takes others a lifetime and even then they don’t achieve their goal.
She had the courage to take on the Taliban __ the most potent and the most dreaded terrorists in their home base__ the mere mention of them makes the so called bravest among us shiver. But, the daughter of the world not only took the fight to them, and as far as she is concerned, defeated them; something the most well trained Pakistan army and the western allies NATO Forces are unable to do till the filing of this article; and do not seem to do so in the foreseeable future. They failed with all their drones and deadly ammo, while Malala won with her pen and mind, her only weapons.
It was her defiance that put her directly in harms way. The Taliban, in their hearts and mind knew that this teenager had defeated them on their on turf, and as any coward would do tried to kill her, in order to salvage some pride. She was shot in the head at point blank range. Critically wounded and with every breath fighting for her life, the daughter of the world was air lifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH), in Rawalpindi, the best hospital in the country. There, the doctors all but declared her dead and as a last resort, as the hospital lacked necessary equipment and qualified doctors with the required know how to treat her; she was referred to the hospital in London, where the royals are treated, and where recently Kate Middleton delivered, the future King of England.
After undergoing days and nights of intensive care and treatment, even the doctors treating confess that Malala’s survival was no less than a miracle. The day she woke up from her coma__ the daughter of the world did not waste a single moment to restart her jihad.
How many people do you know who have the singular honor of speaking to a packed house of United Nations, filled with seasoned diplomats and politicians hailing from all over the world, at the tender age of 16. Not many, in fact none. Well, Malala, the second rate citizen , being a woman, and that too of one of the underdeveloped countries of the world, Pakistan, has. In her confident but measured tone, which we all know comes from pure commitment to the cause you are devoted to , the daughter of the world, to the spell bound audience declared her unflinching resolve to fight for the right of education for all the children of the world, especially the she child.
Seeing the shine in her eye and the commitment in her views, the Amnesty International announced to give her the Amnesty Award for Courage 2013. She is to share this award with another great human rights advocate, the American song writer and singer Harry Belefonte. This award is going to be presented to both these special persons, the next month in Dublin, by none other than Bono.
The Harvard University has also awarded Malala with the prestigious Peter J. Gomez Humanitarian Award for 2013. It was at this function that Throbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Peace Prize Committee highlighted Malala’s efforts in the field of education for all especially the deprived children of the world. And now, she has been officially nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2013. If she wins, she will be the youngest person ever to awarded this prestigious honor.This award has been given to people like the (Late) Nelson Mandela and President Barack Obama, only to name two among many other luminaries.
Her auto-biography, “I am Malala” is also being launched today. Pakistan__a country famous for all the evils, one can imagine__ is being portrayed in a positive light by a frail teenager with the will and determination of a titan; surely, Malala is not the daughter of Pakistan only but instead of the whole world.
An Op-ed written by: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada