I am not one voice, I am many

Today, Pakistani activist MalalaYousafzai (17) received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, together with the Indian children’s rights advocate Kailash Satyarthi who has fought for children’s rights globally since 1980.

Malala, who fights intensely and incessantly for every girl’s right to an education. Malala, who herself lost that right, instead the education she thirsted for became a crime. Malala, who got shot for her convictions when she was 15.

These are some of the things that Malala said in her speach today:

“When I tell my story, it is not because it is unique, but because it is not.”

“I wish to thank my mother for inspiring me to be patient and to always tell the truth – I am convinced that is the true message of Islam.”

“I am pretty sure I’m the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who still fights with her brothers.”

“I am not one voice, I am many. I am Shazia. I am Kainat Riaz. I am Kainat Somro. I am Mezon. I am Amina. I am all the 66 million girls who do not attend school.”

“I had two options; one was to be silent and wait to be killed, the other was to fight back and then be killed. I chose the latter. I decided to fight back.”

“The empty classrooms, the lost childhood, the lost poential – may these things end with us.”

“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world”

And these are some things that children who gathered on the City Hall Square where the ceremony took place said to Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten about Malala:

“Everybody has the right to go to school and we’re all equal. She is brave; she dares to be shot in the head and keep on fighting afterwards.” (Oscar, 10)

“We can learn from her never to let go of what we stand for. I’m sure she’s nice.” (Benjamin, 13)

“She’s tough to stand up. Not everybody’s that tough.” (Pernille, 10)

“We learn that not everyone are as lucky as we are.” (Lea, 12)

“She never gave up. Very inspiring.” (Henrik, 12)

By Unni Holtedahl, December 2014