Column: Age is Not a Restriction

Live To Inspire
By Layla Abbas
A human being has the capability of changing the world as soon as they allow their minds to let them. Age is just a number, age is not a restriction to what you are capable of achieving. A young girl accomplished things that some people never achieve throughout their whole life.

Born on July 12, 1997, Malala had a passion that was not encouraged in her hometown of Swat District, Pakistan. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, encouraged her love of learning and opened up a school in the Swat District. Known as an advocate for education, his school quickly gained positive attention. The popular attention made it difficult for the Taliban leaders to restrict education and stop girls from going to school. In 2009 the Taliban military intensified their hold on Swat and began to limit restrictions on women. By banning television, music and preventing women from going shopping, the Taliban leaders did everything in their power to silence the voices of refusal.  Malala refused to succumb to the oppression and demanded her voice be heard.

It was October 9, 2012 when Malala’s life would be transformed forever. She was riding the bus home from school when Taliban leaders bombarded the school bus and shot Malala in the head. With a massive injury like this, few believed in her recovery.  Discharged in January of 2013, she not only recovered, but continued to speak out for the right to have an education. Instead of dwelling on this unfortunate event, she used it for her advantage and for the sake of others. With these attempts to silence her beliefs she continued to She is the true definition of persevering when life seems to offer you the worst of cards.

Weeks following Malala’s attack, she gained a mass amount of people’s attention in the most positive way.  Over two million people signed a petition for right to education. The National Assembly ratified Pakistan’s first Right To Free and Compulsory Education Bill. Malala defined the odds and instead of ignoring her voice, she applied it and used it in the strongest way.  Malala soon became a global advocate for the millions of girls who are denied from having a formal education. Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, becoming the youngest recipient at just age 18. She accepted this prestigious award on behalf of the world’s children and will continue to work for education until every child has the opportunity of going. Since then she has recently appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show and even sat down with President Obama himself.

One should never disregard the power of a single voice. A single voice has the domination of changing the world. Malala is a prime example of this. Her struggles have turned into an inspirational story that continues to be shared with the world and allows people to not take education for granted.

“I don’t want to be thought of as the girl who was shot by the Taliban but the girl who fought for education. This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.”

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