- Community Empowerment
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah attends CGI Clinton Global Citizen Award for Civil Society in New York
She recently turned 16. She speaks in gentle tones. She is humble. She is modest. And she is a little over five feet tall. But Malala Yousufazi is a giant among us all.
Deeming her “a symbol of Western culture” for promoting female education, the Taliban shot Malala in the head on her way to school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley last October. After the shooting, a member of the Taliban said, “Let this be a lesson.”
Well, it was.
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons the world has ever seen.
It was a lesson in one girl’s will to survive and continue her campaign to get children everywhere, especially girls, into school.
It was a lesson in how education triumphs over violence.
It was a lesson in how the right to learn for every child must be upheld.
And it was a lesson in how one person…one young girl…can inspire a global movement to create positive change.
Yes. It was quite a lesson.
For Malala, education is about global social justice for all…and how learning can free people from the shackles of poverty and the constraints of prejudice. How it can be a prescription for good health and prosperity. And how it enables children to grow up to be better global citizens: respectful… tolerant… forgiving… compassionate.
We heard about these values in Malala’s speech to the UN in July when she forgave the Taliban who shot her.
What grace. What dignity. What generosity of spirit. And what a powerful example to us all.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honour to present Malala with the ‘Clinton Global Citizen Award for Civil Society’. Please be upstanding for Malala.