MALALA YOUSAFZAI SIGNS the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s guest book as he looks on along with former British prime minister Gordon Brown and youth delegates.
In October 2012, Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager, was shot in the head by the Taliban in retaliation for her educational activism in the Swat valley. After months of treatment and rehabilitation, she resumed her work, and on 12 July this year, also her sixteenth birthday, she reiterated her message on the importance of education in a speech made at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
“Dear sisters and brothers,” she said, “we realise the importance of light when we see darkness. We realise the importance of our voice when we are silenced. In the same way, when we were in Swat, the north of Pakistan, we realised the importance of pens and books when we saw the guns.”