My Books

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Malala Yousafzai - the inspiring story of courage, generosity, and sacrifice - for freedom and education of all children

Moved by the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who stood up for the education of women, got shot in the head by the Taliban, survived, and continues to fight for the right of every child to have an education, my friends and I decided to pool our creative resources in support of this courageous girl, her amazing father, and her wonderful family.

During the fundraiser, I was reading some passages from my Family Portrait trilogy. There was music, acting, and all kinds of artistic presentations. All the money we collected will go to the Malala Fund.

Furthermore, for the month of June, I will contribute all the royalties from the sale of the printed versions of the Family Portrait series (An Uncommon Family, Love of a Stonemason, Emilia) to the Malala Fund. To buy the books, please click here:

An Uncommon Family on Amazon
Love of a Stonemason on Amazon
Emilia on Amazon

OR you can also just make a contribution directly to the Malala Fund: http://malalafund.org/

This isn't only about Malala but this is about justice, the right of everyone, boy or girl, to have a decent education, to be able to fulfill their dreams, to live in peace and without fear.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala was born on July 12, 1997, in Mingora, Pakistan. As a child, she became an advocate for girls’ education, which resulted in the Taliban issuing a death threat against her. On October 9, 2012, a gunman shot Malala when she was traveling home from school. She survived and has continued to speak out on the importance of education.

Malala attended a school that her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, had founded. After the Taliban began attacking girls’ school in Swat, Malala gave a speech in Peshawar, Pakistan, in September 2008. The title of her talk was, “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?”

In early 2009, Yousafzai began blogging for the BBC about living under the Taliban’s threats to deny her an education. She hid her identity behind the name Gul Makai. However, the Taliban found out about her in December of that year. With a growing public platform, Malala continued to speak out about her right, and the right of all women, to an education. Her activism resulted in a nomination for the International Children’s Peace Price in 2011 and that same year she was awarded Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize.

When she was 14, Malala and her family learned that the Taliban had issued a death threat against her. Though Malala was feared for the safety of her father—an anti-Taliban activist—she and her family initially felt that the fundamentalist group would not harm a child.

On October 9, 2012, on her way home from school, a man boarded the bus Malala was riding in and demanded to know which girl was Malala. When her friends looked toward Malala, her location was given away. The gunman fired at her, hitting Malala on the left side of her head. The shooting left her in critical condition. She was flown to a military hospital in Peshawar for an operation and for further care, she was transferred to Birmingham, England. Malala underwent several difficult surgeries, but luckily had suffered no major brain damage. In March 2013, she was able to begin attending school in England.

The shooting resulted in a massive outpouring of support for Malala, which continued during her recovery. She gave a speech at the United Nations on her 16th birthday in 2013. She has also written an autobiography, I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, which was released in October 2013. Unfortunately, the Taliban still considers her a target.

Despite the Taliban's threats, Malala Yousafzai remains a staunch advocate for the power of education. On October 10, 2013, in acknowledgement of her work, the European Parliament awarded her the Sakharov Prize for Freemdom of Thought. The same year, she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She didn't win the prize, but was nominated again in March 2014.

And here are a few pictures of our fundraiser, which was a great success!