Malala Yousafzai to receive peace award in Ireland tomorrow
I discovered on breakingnew.ie a story that will warm the cockles of my heart.
A teenager shot in the head by the Taliban will be honoured for her courage and determination tomorrow.
Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai will touch down in Ireland where she will become the latest recipient of the Tipperary International Peace Award.
The 16-year-old education activist was attacked by Taliban gunmen last October after she campaigned for girls to go to school without fear in part of the country where fundamentalists had once imposed strict Sharia law.
The Tipperary Peace Convention will recognise Malala’s courage, determination and perseverance, along with the impact she has had on so many people across the world.
Peace Convention secretary Martin Quinn said he was delighted the teenager had agreed to accept the award in person in Co Tipperary.
“We are really looking forward to receiving her and presenting her with this well-deserved accolade,” he said.
“Malala now joins the illustrious list of past recipients of the peace prize, which includes former prime minister of Pakistan, the late Benazir Bhutto.”
Since the age of 11, Malala had been secretly writing a blog for the BBC which described the struggles faced by girls trying to receive an education under the Taliban.
When her identity was uncovered, a Taliban militia boarded her school bus and shot her at point blank range in the head.
Malala, from the town of Mingora in the Swat district of Pakistan, was hit just above her left eye by a bullet which grazed the edge of her brain.
She was eventually airlifted to Britain and treated at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she had a titanium plate and cochlear implant fitted. She was also visited by the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, in hospital.
The teenager has remained in the UK where she returned to school in March and continues to campaign for every child’s right to education, including joining a campaign led by Plan Ireland.
Mike Mansfield, of Plan Ireland, said Malala’s story has struck a chord across the world.
“This young campaigner has become an inspiration to millions,” he said.
“This is an extraordinary, brave young women who, when faced with death, refused to give up and refused to be silent.
However, we must not forget there are millions of ’other Malalas’ across the world; a whole generation of girls and boys who are excluded daily from learning by violence, discrimination or harmful traditional practices.
“Plan is working with these ’other Malalas’, the one in five girls globally who are denied an education or the one in three girls every second who is forced to enter a child marriage.”
The Tipperary Peace Prize was established in the early 1980s for an individual who has made a special contribution to the cause of peace is selected and honoured.
Others short-listed in 2012 included US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, president of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi, former Kenyan journalist John Githongo and Pax Christi International, a non-profit Catholic peace movement.
Previous recipients include former South African president Nelson Mandela, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and ex-US president Bill Clinton.
Last year’s recipients were former president of Ireland Professor Mary McAleese and her husband Senator Martin McAleese.
Malala, who has been called the world’s most influential teenager, is a nominee for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
Céad míle fáilte! Welcome to Ireland, Malala!
I’m a survivor of Goldenbridge industrial “school” and hold Malala in high esteem for fighting for the rights of young people to be educated in her country as well as globally.
I received minuscule education in Goldenbridge in the long distant past, and now as a result of that disadvantage I’m currently in adult education. Education has now become a life-long learning project. Thanks to my online American tutor. I’m glad to have got the opportunity, as so many of my industrial “school” contemporaries are unable to read or write.
I get great encouragement from reading all about Malala’s endeavours to help the uneducated classes. She strives so hard to give hope and encouragement to the most vulnerable in the world. Malala paid such a dear price to seek justice for children in Swat Valley, Pakistan, to be educated. Swat Valley is known for its beauty that’s akin to Switzerland.
Thankfully Malala has pulled through, and the rest of the world is now also
benefitting from her wisdom. For one so young, she is absolutely a credit to
all. (Notwithstanding too her two young courageous companions, lest they be forgotten).
I’m so proud that Ireland is acknowledging Malala for the pain she endured at the hands of the Taliban. Not forgetting the two friends who were also at the coalface and also suffered horrendously. I hope Malala enjoys her stay in Ireland.
I would like to conclude by saying on behalf of survivors of Goldenbridge, and other industrial “schools” a very hearty THANK YOU to Malala and her two friends.
*[Schools was just a euphemism for child slave labour. Nonetheless, Ireland has learned a big lesson because of not properly overseeing education needs of children in its care in the past, despite the ethos of the religious, whose main priority was to educate the poor classless children in their care.