Tag Archives: Malala Yousufzai

For Education: Acts of Cowardice and an Act of Courage

Against the backlash of sickening shouts of joy by numerous Taleban followers during the execution-style shooting of a man amid a forced crowd – point-blank in the head – onto the ground where a headless corps lies and a girl screams while being flocked face down in dirt, all for a so-called lesson by a group of armed men, Malala Yousafzai’s voice rises in confidence: “They cannot stop me.  I will get my education. If it is in home, school or any place.”  All, in the video below.  The man’s head’s image revokes that of the imagined one of Malala in her school bus several months ago.

A statement from Seneca sums up the now widespread news on the cowardice behind the Talebani shooting of Malala in the head and chest: “All cruelty springs from weakness (Seneca’s Morals).”

No, oh no! It is not at all my intent to re-visit that low moment in Malala’s life beyond these words of reminder of her trauma.  For it is, rather, sharing of the most recent, joyous news that is most deserving of her strength: Being discharged from the hospital after her life-threatening wounds, having risen above the impact of the cowardly act by a shooter from the realms of ultra-conservative Islam as well as that of all its representatives.  Malala leaves hospital and addresses the world as the symbol of courage.

Various media speculations guide the reader and/or viewer to the potentiality of a plot behind the shooting of Malala, to which – among many others – “The assassination of Malala’s character,” an arab news article, responds.  Not being a political scientist of profession, of greater importance, though, not ever having cared for the value of any political structure at the level, let alone, above that of the human being, I, with my reflections today, am in obvious act of detest when the cowardice of the ultra-conservative Muslims is concerned – may they hide behind the name “Taleban” or under any other title.

The fact remains the one and the same: Malala wanted to have education be open to her and knew too well that the Koran did not ban her from pursuing it.  Talebani shooters had to face growing fear on account of her “act” of a learned individual: A passion to live under her terms; that is, to lead a life within her rights as a human being.  But also for being educated enough to know that the Holy Book of Islam she believed in was in support of her pursuit when it came to equal rights for education for Muslim boys as well as girls anywhere in the world.

Plutarch is claimed to have said the following regards education: “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”  How relevant of a statement of wisdom when our days are taken into consideration in view of the mind (intended singularity) of the Taleban followers as opposed to that of Malala…

You, dear reader, may – in the words of Gandhi always possess passion and courage for education and thus, “[l]ive as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

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“Ivory Tower? Literature and Life” – An Opinion Piece

My weekly post was going to be about an aspect of my life again.  After all, I created this blog site to document my literary work of the past and the present, most of which originated from my own life experiences and ills I have faced thus far.  To the best of my ability, I resist reading the news.  Beyond an occasional scan-reading, that is.  In the opposite sense of “intended” or “active” reading, the practice about which I tell my students time and again when dealing with literary texts in a foreign language – German, in my case.  Just yesterday, my literature class and I completed an analysis of three poems representative of their centuries in terms of cultural, social, political, religious and artistic tendencies.  All three, of relevance to my thoughts today.  As the poets’ words of hope for future generations were not capable of a launch: everyone in class, myself included, had to agree that nothing had happened for the better in human behavior from one century into another. Ours is no exception.

Yes, I have been resisting perusing world and local news for a while now.  To self-protect.  For I am very much like my mother, who couldn’t be herself for a long time, after reading sad news in newspapers back when.  Another reason is my realization of the cruel fact that I can’t possibly change anything that is tragic, cruel, downright inhuman in any of the world countries we know of.  This morning, however, an article by Jibran Ahmad at Reuters, http://news.yahoo.com/pakistani-girl-spoke-against-taliban-shot-wounded-095818763.html had my full attention.  Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old schoolgirl “became famous for speaking out against the Pakistani Taliban at a time when even the government seemed to be appeasing the hardline Islamists,” per Ahmad.  She was “shot in the head and neck when gunmen fired on her school bus in the Swat valley, northwest of the capital, Islamabad. Two other girls were also wounded, police said,” Ahmad states.  Malala’s courage got to my soul.  As we say in Turkish: it hit me directly in the main vein.  While I am typing my weekly post in the comfort and safety of my home in a secure environment, with my sole focus being on a discussion of a patriarchal wrong-doing of my own experience, this 14-year-old schoolgirl fights to stay alive.  Simply because she chose to speak up with conviction against an ongoing wrong in one of the most dangerous settings of the world cultures.  Against all odds.  Having at such a young age already risen above personal concerns or wishes, desires, expectations.  Her horrifying experience is a blunt reminder to me of what a luxury it is to do what I do: write about mostly personal issues placed in one or the other literary framework.

It is as if I have known Malala all my life.  I want to apologize to her in any and all languages of the world I don’t know and am not even aware of.  For I know one other fact for certain.  I regained perspective now.  Malala taught me that long-lost crucial insight for now.  By next week latest, though, I will have been caught by my own life worries all over again, all of which can’t possibly come close to Malala’s, in their levels of seriousness, intensity, severity, extent or of downright life and death significance.

Images of Malala Yousufzai from my google search are in my Blogroll.

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