Education icon honors library
LONDON — Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head last year for advocating education for girls like herself, honored her own weapon of choice on Tuesday: the book.
The 16-year-old, who was hospitalized in Britain with gunshot wounds caused by the Taliban, was chosen to deliver the opening speech for a public library in Birmingham, England, that is being touted as the largest in Europe.
In a warmly received address outside the new 10-story building, whose more than 1 million books include a collection of the first folios of Shakespeare's works, Malala declared that “books are the only weapon that can defeat terrorism.”
She also delivered an affectionate salute to “Brummies,” as residents of Birmingham are known, for their support in the months after her shooting, when she was flown there for specialized surgery.
After her attack, Malala was brought to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital for surgery that enabled her to recover all her faculties. Five months later, she resumed her schooling, this time in Birmingham, where she now lives with her family.
She has become something of a celebrity, and a spokeswoman for girls' education in countries like Pakistan where there are powerful forces against it. In July, she celebrated her 16th birthday by delivering a speech on the subject to the United Nations in New York.
Speaking of Birmingham on Tuesday, she said: “It was here that I found myself alive after my shooting, and when I was discharged I was introduced to a new society which is different from Pakistan. People tell me they have read hundreds of books, even children of 6 and 7 have read more books than me.”
She vowed to read thousands of books, saying, “I will empower myself with knowledge.”
Her address closed with a heartfelt appeal to “not forget that 57 million children are out of school” and called on her audience to “speak up for the children of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan who are suffering from terrorism, poverty, child labor and child trafficking. Let us help them to read books and go to school.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Saudi-led attacks seen as escalating violence in Yemen
- Antarctica yields life in extremest of conditions, so what about on another planet?
- Germanwings co-pilot silent as he deliberately slammed plane into Alps
- France opens black box, hoping to unlock jet crash mystery
- Delivery of biggest warship since WWII another sign of expanding Japanese military
- Terrorists strike Libya officials in retaliation
- Pilot stuck outside cockpit in Alps crash
- Prince Charles’ private letters to reveal views
- Militias pull out of battle for Tikrit
- Proposed deal would allow Iran to run centrifuges, prohibit building bomb
- Copilot’s friends doubt Germanwings crash intentional