Monday, October 07, 2013

This is brilliant! "The Making of Malala" from NYT

by Salman Hameed

There is a good chance that Malala will get a well deserved Nobel Peace Prize (even thought the prize itself has become dubious with the E.U and Obama as some of its recent winners). She is absolutely phenomenal and fearless and the Nobel prize is not for being a victim, but rather for what she has been doing for education both before and after getting shot. But she is still only 16 years of age! I first posted about her back in January 2009, when I read about her in BBC and the New York Times. Later, NYT also had a short film featuring Malala, and her cheerful personality came bustling through. Now, almost a year after she was shot in the face by the Taliban, the NYT has a brilliant and thought provoking short film about the role of her (ambitious) father and the news media in making Malala a symbol for girls education - something that provoked the Taliban. But what is amazing about the film is that it not only shows a growing independence of Malala and her transformation but also the larger cultural context of girls education in Pakistan. It also highlights contradictions in Malala's own father, and those clips add so much depth to this 10-minute video. One problem is that people not familiar with Pakistan will have a hard time distinguishing cultural norms in Swat (and in the northern parts of Pakistan in general) versus the rest of Pakistan, in particular the more urban areas. Nevertheless, take 10 minutes and watch the video below (and read the article in NYT here):

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