By Rachel Benbrook Mason, Regular ContributorNovember 28, 2015
image via thisthingcalledprogressfilm.wordpress.com
I recently saw the film He Named Me Malala, chronicling the life of Malala Yousafzai. Malala’s story is incredible, and I think it’s wonderful that there has now been a documentary to share her story with a wider audience. It is so important that her story be told, and the world is able to hear about her accomplishments.
The film begins by explaining how Malala received her name. Malala was a young woman from Swat Valley in Pakistan who helped encourage her people to fight back against the English army. She was killed in battle but forever remembered for her part in the fight and her ability to rally the troops. Malala shares her name, and her mission.
She stood up for women’s education in her country and nearly paid the price with her life.
Malala was a young girl living with her mother, father, and two brothers in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. Her father had encouraged Malala to speak out for education rights, especially for girls. This was not popular with the Taliban forces that had taken control of the region, and Malala and her father were both seen as threats for choosing to speak out against them and their policies. Malala began to communicate with a BBC journalist under a pseudonym to protect her identity. She was able to let the outside world know the truth about the Taliban and the real toll they were taking upon Pakistan and the people of the Swat Valley. Malala and many other girls had to put their lives at risk in order to go to school and continue learning.
One day Malala was shot by Taliban forces whilst on her way to school. The injury was so severe that many people were afraid she would not survive. She was mediflighted to England, where she was able to not only survive the incident, but also recover enough to return to school and go on to receive the Nobel peace prize.
Malala currently works to continue to spread awareness for education rights for girls. She also valiantly continues her own education and helps her family adjust to their new life in a new country. Although she says she does want to return to Pakistan, there have been many deaths threats on her life, and it may be too unsafe for her to return.
I think it is so important that this documentary on Malala and her accomplishments has been released. Now her message is being spread to others, and it can help let people know about her incredible story. It is difficult to imagine what she and her family were forced to go through in order to help advocate for better rights for women and girls and their educations.
I find Malala Yousafzai’s story to be one that everyone needs to hear.
I cannot believe the impact she has been able to have on the world at such a young age. She is a young woman who is raising her voice for the cause of global education, and she can inspire us all to do amazing things. She nearly paid for this with her life, and her ability to forgive those who did this to her showcases the phenomenal young woman that she is. She continues to persevere in the face of incredible odds.
I encourage everyone to see the movie He Named me Malala. It will give you perspective into the amazing life of such an inspirational young woman and help give us all the courage to stand up for what we believe in.
Have you seen He Named me Malala? What did you think? Tell us below!
Rachel is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of Leeds where she studied Political Communications. She is a passionate advocate of strong friendships, caffeine, social justice, current events, travels and adventures, as well as all things peanut
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