B1 Intermediate 12889 Folder Collection
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Today, it is an honour for me
to be speaking again after a long time.
Being here with such honourable people
is a great moment in my life
and it is an honour for me
because today I am wearing a shawl of Benazir Bhutto Shaheed.
I don’t know where to begin my speech.
I don’t know what people would be expecting me to say
but first of all
Thank you to God
for whom we all are equal
and thank you to every person who has prayed for my fast recovery and new life
I cannot believe how much love people have shown me.
I have received thousands of good-wish cards and gifts
from all over the world
Thank you to all of them.
Thank you to the children
whose innocent words encouraged me.
Thank you to my elders
whose prayers strengthened me.
I would like to thank my nurses,
doctors and the staff of the hospitals
in Pakistan and the UK
and the UAE government
who have helped me to get better and recover my strength.
I fully support Mr Ban Ki-moon
the Secretary-General in his Global Education First Initiative
and the work of UN Special Envoy
Mr Gordon Brown
and the respectful president of General Assembly Vuk Jeremic.
I thank all of them
for the leadership they continue to give.
They continue to inspire all of us to action.
Dear brothers and sisters,
do remember one thing:
Malala Day is not my day.
Today is the day
of every woman,
every boy
and every girl
who have raised their voice for their rights.
There are hundreds of human rights activists
and social workers
who are not only speaking for their rights,
but who are struggling
to achieve their goal of peace, education and equality.
Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists
and millions have been injured.
I am just one of them.
So here I stand,
So here I stand, one girl among many.
I speak not for myself,
but for those without a voice can be heard.
Those who have fought for their rights.
Their right to live in peace.
Their right to be treated with dignity.
Their right to equality of opportunity.
Their right to be educated.
Dear friends,
on the 9th of October 2012
the Taliban
shot me on the left side of my forehead.
They shot my friends, too.
They thought that the bullets would silence us,
but they failed.
And out of that silence came
thousands of voices.
The terrorists thought
they would change my aims and stop my ambitions.
But nothing changed in my life
except this:
weakness, fear and hopelessness died.
Strength, power and courage was born.
I am the same Malala.
My ambitions are the same.
My hopes are the same.
And my dreams are the same.
Dear sisters and brothers,
I am not against anyone.
Neither am I here
to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban
or any other terrorist group.
I am here to speak up
for the right of education of every child.
I want education
for the sons and daughters of the Taliban
and all the terrorists and extremists.
I do not even hate the Talib who shot me.
Even if there is a gun in my hand
and he stands in front of me,
I would not shoot him.
This is the compassion
that I have learnt from Muhammad,
the prophet of mercy
and Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha.
This is the legacy of change that I have inherited
from Martin Luther King,
Nelson Mandela
and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
This is the philosophy of non-violence
that I have learnt from Gandhi Jee,
Bacha Khan and Mother Teresa.
And this is the forgiveness
that I have learnt from my father and from my mother.
This is what my soul is telling me
be peaceful and love everyone.
Dear sisters and brothers,
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, in the north of Pakistan,
we realised
the importance of pens and books when we saw the guns.
The wise saying,
"The pen is mightier than sword" was true.
The extremists were and they are afraid of books and pens.
The power of education,
The power of education frightens them.
They are afraid of women.
The power of the voice of women frightens them.
And that is why
they killed 14 innocent students in the recent attack in Quetta.
and this is why
they killed female teachers and polio workers
in Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa.
That is why they are blasting schools every day.
Because they were
and they are afraid of change,
afraid of the equality that we will bring into our society.
And I remember
that there was a boy in our school
who was asked by a journalist:
"Why are the Taliban against education?"
He answered very simply
by pointing to his book, he said:
"A Talib doesn't know what is written inside this book."
They think
that God is a tiny, little conservative being
who would send girls to the hell
just because of going to school.
The terrorists
are mis-using the name of Islam and Pashtun society
for their own personal benefits.
Pakistan is peace-loving democratic country.
Pashtuns want education for their daughters and sons.
And Islam is a religion of peace, humanity and brotherhood.
Islam says
it's not only each child's right to get education,
rather it is their duty and responsibility.
Honourable Secretary-General,
peace is necessary for education.
In many parts of the world, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan,
terrorism, wars and conflicts
stop children to go to their schools.
We are really tired of these wars.
Women and children
are suffering in many ways
in many parts of the world
In India,
innocent and poor children are victims of child labour.
Many schools have been destroyed in Nigeria.
People in Afghanistan have been affected
by the hurdles of extremism for decades.
Young girls have to do domestic child labour
and are forced to get married at early age.
Poverty,
ignorance,
injustice,
racism
and the deprivation of basic rights
are the main problems faced by both men and women.
Dear fellows,
today
I am focusing on women's rights and girls' education
because they are suffering the most.
There was a time
when women social activists
asked men to stand up for their rights.
But this time,
we will do it by ourselves.
I am not telling men to step away from speaking for women's rights,
rather,
I am focusing on women to be independent to fight for themselves.
So dear sisters and brothers,
now it's time to speak up.
So today,
we call upon the world leaders
to change their strategic policies
in favour of peace and prosperity.
We call upon the world leaders
that all of these deals
must protect women and children's rights.
A deal
that goes against the rights of women
is unacceptable.
We call upon all governments
to ensure free, compulsory education
all over the world for every child.
We call upon all the governments
to fight against terrorism and violence.
To protect children from brutality and harm.
We call upon the developed nations
to support the expansion of education opportunities
for girls in the developing world.
We call upon all communities
to be tolerant,
to reject prejudice based on caste,
creed,
sect,
color,
religion,
or gender
to ensure freedom and equality for women
so they can flourish.
We cannot all succeed
when half of us are held back.
We call upon our sisters around the world
to be brave,
to embrace the strength within themselves
and realise their full potential.
Dear brothers and sisters,
we want schools and education
for every child's bright future.
We will continue our journey
to our destination of peace and education.
No one can stop us.
We will speak up for our rights
and we will bring change to our voice.
We believe
in the power and the strength of our words.
Our words can change the whole world
because
we are all together,
united for the cause of education.
And if we want to achieve our goal,
then let us empower ourselves
with the weapon of knowledge
and let us shield ourselves
with unity and togetherness.
Dear brothers and sisters,
we must not forget
that millions of people are suffering
from poverty, injustice and ignorance.
We must not forget
that millions of children are out of their schools.
We must not forget
that our sisters and brothers
are waiting for a bright peaceful future.
So let us wage
So let us wage a global struggle
against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism
Let us pick up.
Let us pick up our books and pens.
They are our most powerful weapons.
One child,
one teacher,
one book,
and one pen
can change the world.
Education is the only solution.
Education First.
Thank you.
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Malala's UN speech

12889 Folder Collection
Chris Lee published on August 14, 2013
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