"Let us take up our books and pens, for they are our most
...Malala Yousafzai...speech at U.N.
July 12, 2013
All of us at one time or another have been inspired and motivated by famous speeches.
Abraham Lincoln's powerful Gettysburg address in 1863 in which he lamented the bloody cost of the civil war, contains the unforgettable phrase, "that government of the people, by the people and for the people, will never perish from the earth."
Or who can forget, JFK's speech that challenged all Americans with the famous question, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country?"
Finally, the late Dr. Martin Luther king, in the midst of the bloody struggle for racial equality in 1963, declared to a nation torn apart by racism, "I have a dream!"
Words are very powerful! Words can change the destiny of our lives,
Recently I was inspired and challenged by the words of Malala Yousafzai, who gave a powerful, life changing speech at The United nations on her 16th birthday.
On October 6, 2012, Malala was seriously wounded after being shot in the head by the Taliban in her native country of Pakistan. Nearly one year later after many surgeries in both the U.K. and Pakistan, Malala has made an amazing recovery.
On July 12, 2013, on her 16th birthday, Malala addressed the United Nations Assembly in what I believe is one of the most courageous speeches I've ever heard. With her mother and father present, Malala, dressed in a beautiful pink and white hijab, stood at a podium, thanking everyone for their prayers and praising her doctors and nurses for her miraculous recovery.
"I speak not for myself, but for those without a voice so they can be heard," Malala declared.
She then recalled the frightening day when she was shot and made a bold declaration saying, "They thought that the bullet would silence us, but they failed, out of that silence came thousands of voices!"
There was a rousing applause and then Malala boldly proclaimed, "The terrorists thought they would change my aim and stop my ambition, but nothing changed except, weakness, fear and hopelessness died and strength and courage was born!"
"I don't hate the Taliban who shot me," she admitted.
Malala credited Mohammed and Jesus for teaching her compassion and her parents for impressing on her the importance of forgiveness.
"Extremists are afraid of books and pen," Malala pointed out as she urged the governments of the world to help her wage war against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism.
Malala's goal is to ensure and protect the rights of every woman and every child across the globe through peace and education.
"Let us take up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons!"
I watched this speech in tears! I was so proud and inspired by this young girl's courage!
When I think about the role models for our teenagers today, Malala is the first person who comes to my mind! She is my hero! We need more role models like Malala instead of the "hip-hop celebrities who are busy promoting drugs and sex and leading many of our teens down the road to ruin.
After watching her speech, I'm sure you will agree with me that one day we will see Malala as the next woman president of Pakistan!