Pakistan teen nominated for international peace award

Source/Credit: The Asian Agae/Nov 21, 2011 |

One of the bravest girls in Pakistan, who as a 11-year-old wrote about the Taliban banning girls’ schools in the picturesque Swat Valley and missing watching her favourite Indian serial ‘Raja Ki Ayegi Baraat’, has been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize.

Malala Yousufzai, now 13, was a victim of the ban imposed by the Taliban on education for girls in the troubled Swat Valley over two years ago. She wrote about her pain and anguish in a diary for BBC Urdu online.

Yousufzai, a Class 8 student, beat 93 contestants from 42 countries to be nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize 2011. The prize is due to be announced today and if she wins, she will be given the award by Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu.

“I am very happy to be nominated along with four other brave girls. I am particularly inspired by Michaela who, despite her physical disability, fights for the rights of children with disabilities,” Yousufzai told the media.

Her classmates described her as a go-getter who usually bagged the first position in tests and led others in extra- curricular activities.

Yousufzai said her nomination for the prize had “doubled her courage” as her cause is of great importance.

“Irrespective of whether I win the prize, I will continue my struggle. I hope to set up a vocational institute for the marginalised girls of this area so they can stand on their feet in the future.”

Asked why she started her campaign for girls’ rights, Yousufzai said the violence in Swat had “a huge impact” on her mind. She said she wanted the rest of the world to stop describing the people of Swat as terrorists as they were peaceful and loving.

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Categories: Asia

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