With the #10YearChallenge getting immensely popular on the social media with people exhibiting versions of themselves a decade ago, Pakistan’s shining star Malala Yousafzai unveiled what her life was ten years ago that is giving the challenge a whole new meaning.
Taking the opportunity, the 21-year-old Nobel Laureate wrote about how different her life was a decade ago filled with battles that changed her life forever.
In a blogpost, the female education activist wrote that the #10YearChallenge taking over her social media feeds reignited what her own life was like at the time: “The posts sparked my memories of 10 years ago, when I was 11 years old. A frightening voice on the radio, spreading across the valley. “From January 15, girls will not be allowed to attend schools,” said Mullah Shah Doran, a local Taliban leader. “Educating girls is ‘un-Islamic.’”, she wrote.
“We were living in terrorism and violence.”, she said adding: “And now no girl could go to school.”
The Mother Tereasa Award recipient went on to write: “As an 11-year-old, I worried about my future and my freedom. All I wanted was to put on my ink-stained scarf, walk through the streets, sit on our old wooden chairs inside those cracked walls, pick my pen, open my book.”
Speaking of her diary entries during those times of turmoil, the activist recollected the apprehensive feelings that hovered around her then saying: “Reading these entries now, 10 years later, I hear so much in that young girl’s voice — scepticism, nostalgia, hope and caution. The same feelings that I hear in the voices of the girls that I meet around the world, in schools, on city streets, in refugee camps.”
She goes ahead saying that despite the passing time, her struggle to promote female education remains: “I look back on the last 10 years with immense gratitude — but also anger. Why are so many girls — any girl — still out of school?”
“I am working every day to help my sisters go to school. I want every girl to get at least 12 years of safe, free, quality education. I want them to pursue their dreams and contribute to a better world for all of us. But I can’t do this alone.”, she added further.
Concluding the emotional and heart wrenching note, Malala writes: “What will the next 10 years look like? That’s up to all of us.”