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Happy birthday Malala

00358 malala"A child, a teacher, a book, a pen can change the world. Education is the only solution." On July 12 2013, on her sixteenth birthday, Malala Yousafzai was invited to give a speech to the UN as evidence of the importance of the right to education.

"Dear Friends - she said - 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 then, out of that silence came, thousands of voices. The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born. I am the same Malala. My ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. 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 terrorists group. I am here to speak up for the right to education of every child. I want education for the sons and the daughters of all the extremists especially the Taliban.

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, 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".

Malala is the youngest candidate for the Nobel Prize for peace. ACRA shares its commitment and since its inception in 1968, promotes education as a right for all boys and girls in the world and as a tool for development and poverty reduction.


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