Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Nobel nomination and Malala's message in English and Urdu

by Salman Hameed

Well, Malala's name has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. Actually, this might be good for the Nobel committee, after giving the prize to the drone-happy Obama and then last year to the European Union(!). A win for Malala may actually restore some of the lost luster.

In the mean time, she has made her first public statement and has mentioned the establishment of a fund dedicated for girls' education. In many instances, this kind of coverage overwhelms the subject in the middle. But it is different with her. She has always been confident and self-assured. So check out the video of her statement in English (first one below) and in Urdu. Often people focus on the religion of her attackers. But, as you can see from the video, religion plays a major role in her life as well - and it is that that she credits for her well-being. This is the reason why it doesn't make much sense to make blanket statements - both good or bad - about religions. The way people inhabit and interact with religion is complex, and it is the specifics that matter. And there really isn't much redeemable about those Taliban who found any kind of justification (religious or tribal or political) in attacking a 14-year old girl. [On the crazy spectrum of things, please check out this earlier post: Crazy Conspiracy Theories: From Malala to Newtown, CT]

I hope Malala recovers her spunky-self. To remind you of her (and her charming father's) sprightly personality, I have also posted the short NYT documentary from a few years ago.

Here is Malala's statement in English:

Here is her statement on Urdu:

Here is the NYT documentary:


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