She is a normal, useless type of a girl

M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad reports on the hatred of Malala in Pakistan.

It wasn’t even reported as breaking news on Pakistani tv, Khan says.

Many Pakistanis would not even have known she was up for the award.

Indeed, Tariq Khattack, editor of the Pakistan Observer newspaper, actually condemned it, telling the BBC: “It’s a political decision and a conspiracy.”

“She is a normal, useless type of a girl. [Read more...]

Representing the West, not us

From almost a year ago, November 2013 – associations of private schools in Pakistan banned Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography.

Ironically, educational officials in Pakistan (who work in the very segment of society that Malala wants to improve) have prohibited her memoirs from classrooms across the country. (Tens of millions of Pakistani children attend fee-based private schools since public schools are in such poor shape).

Adeeb Javedani, president of the All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association, told Associated Press that Malala’s book will not be available in any libraries at its 40,000 affiliated schools. He also asked the government to ban it from all school curricula. “Everything about Malala is now becoming clear,” Javedani said. “To me, she is representing the West, not us.”

Kashif Mirza, the chairman of the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (which represents more than 152,000 institutions across the country), has also banned the book from all schools under his group’s jurisdiction. “The federation thought we should review the book, and having reviewed it we came to the decision that the book was not suitable for our children, particularly not our students,” said Mirza. “Pakistan is an ideological country. That ideology is based on Islam…. In this book are many comments that are contrary to our ideology.”

This is someone who oversees schools. Apparently his ideology approves of shooting girls like Malala in the head for being determined to go to school.

Not everyone in Pakistan supports the ban. “The decision to ban the book is the result of a deliberate smear campaign run against Malala and the book by right-wing commentators,” said Bina Shah, novelist and education campaigner based in Karachi, according to Pakistani media. “There has been complete confusion about the book, sown very deliberately in the minds of adults because of this right-wing talk.”

Thus blighting the future for who knows how many millions of girls in Pakistan.

One pen and one book can change the world

Malala celebrated her 16th birthday today by telling the UN that education could change the world.

“Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution,” a confident Yousafzai said to cheers from the podium.

The Taliban tried to stop her last October but, for once, they failed.

“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,” she said in Friday’s speech. [Read more...]

There’s no place like home

Another piece of good news (thanks to Maureen for sending me the link) – Malala is out of the hospital.

Over the past few weeks, Malala has been leaving the hospital on home visits to spend time with her father Ziauddin, mother Toorpekai and younger brothers, Khushal and Atul.

The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said doctors believe she will continue to make good progress outside the hospital. [Read more...]

Malala is awake

She’s awake, and she has stood up. She’s making good progress. She might make a full recovery.

The hospital held a news conference and said the teenager is aware of her surroundings and making good progress.

Malala, CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata reported on “CBS This Morning,” has some memory as to what happened, and remembers she was in Pakistan on a school bus one moment, and then, in the next, woke up in a foreign country. One of the first things she asked when she came out of her medically-induced coma Tuesday, D’Agata reported, was what country she was in.

At this early stage, in terms of neurological damage, doctors are say[ing] they hop[e] she will make a full recovery. She’s not out of the woods, they say, but she’s close to the edge of the woods.

That is good news.