Who is Malala?

Horizon Lanka students with Malala's picture as the walpapetr in their PCs.
Horizon Lanka’s Malalas with Malala’s picture as the wallpaper in their PCs.

Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation

Despite all the conspiracy theories against her, I am a great admirer of Malala Yousafzai, world’s youngest ever Nobel laureate from one of our neighboring countries, Pakistan. Like most of the other non-Pakistanis, I too heard about her after being shot by the Talibans on October 9, 2012. I followed news casts after that about her deteriorating health and near death experiences. Just like the rest of you, I too was shocked as to how on earth a man can shoot such an innocent and beautiful butterfly like Malala (or any other child for that matter.) I was relieved once I heard the news that she would survive.

Horizon Lanka students with Malala's picture as the wallpaper in their PCs.
Horizon Lanka students with Malala’s picture as the wallpaper in their PCs.

Ever since I followed news about her. After her book “I am Malala” was published, I immediately downloaded the audio version of the book and listened to it zillion times. I still do. I also downloaded the e-book version and read that too. As if it was not enough, I also bought the printed book and read that too. Read my blog post about Malala’s autobiography “I am Malala” in here.

Horizon Lanka's Malalas with Malala's picture as the wallpaper in their PCs.
Horizon Lanka’s Malalas with Malala’s picture as the wallpaper in their PCs.

I also recommended the book I am Malala to the university undergraduates who learned English and English literature from me and they enjoyed discussing and reading it a lot. I made it the compulsory book to read and discuss with the English and English literature class I am doing for English teachers and young graduates who learn from me at Horizon Lanka. She is a big inspiration to them as well.

Horizon Lanka students with Malala's picture as the wallpaper in their PCs.
Horizon Lanka students with Malala’s picture as the wallpaper in their PCs.

Recently, I found a good picture of Malala with her famous slogan “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world” in the background. I set the image as the wallpaper of my laptop. Not only that, I set it as the wallpaper in my mobile phone also. So, the Horizon Lanka students asked who that cute girl was. I said she is Malala. Then my students asked the same question the Taliban terrorist asked Malala seconds before shooting her, “Who is Malala?”

Malala's picture as my laptop's wallpaper
Malala’s picture as my laptop’s wallpaper
Malala's picture as my mobile phone's wallpaper
Malala’s picture as my mobile phone’s wallpaper

Then I opened up the Wikipedia page about her and some of the images taken while she was wounded and her speeches, interviews, etc. in YouTube and briefed about her life and the great risks she took in fighting for the right for girls’ education. My students were greatly inspired and wanted to set the same image of Malala I used as my wallpaper in the other 10 PCs at Horizon Lanka too. This is how their PCs look like now. I don’t know when they will replace with someone/something else but definitely not any sooner according to their love towards Malala. Now all the girls here want to be Malalas.

malala-horizonlanka5
Horizon Lanka students with Malala’s picture as the wallpaper in their PCs.

Sri Lanka does not have a big issue when it comes to girls’ education. In most of the schools, colleges and universities girls constitute more than the boys even in challenging fields such as technical, engineering, medical, etc. fields. Even Muslim girls here excel in higher education and in professional careers. But we need more Malalas here to promote education among both girls and boys, especially in rural areas where there is less facilities and urge to go for higher education.

Horizon Lanka students with Malala's picture as the wallpaper in their PCs.
Horizon Lanka students with Malala’s picture as the wallpaper in their PCs.

One thought on “Who is Malala?

  • December 31, 2015 at 11:02 AM
    Permalink

    Dear Rohan,

    You are right. We do not have terrorism anymore in Sri Lanka. And Malala example does not apply here. I take Malala as an example to give courage to the younger generation as to how one should strive for success against all odds. Malala is a living legend to prove that. Our students go to pubic schools and they learn about other inspirational people in their text books and additional reading materials. Most of such characters are dead and gone and there is nothing wrong in adding a living legend who represent the present generation also to the list

    We have never used (or misused for that matter) war in Sri Lanka at any stage of Horizon Lanka’s journey. We did not even mention about war in our website. We only shared the world our success stories, not tears and blood.

    Reply

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