He Named Me Malala….WHY?
First and foremost, thank you groupMAD for inviting me to the private screening of the film documentary “He Named Me Malala”. I admit that I was pretty dubious at first, mainly because I truly am not a fan of any form of documentary films (Sorry, I’m pretty much a cartoon and ‘no-brainer’ movies type of person LOL). However I decided to attend all the same, mainly because the synopsis had caught my attention.
About the film
HE NAMED ME MALALA is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.
As I watched the film, I find myself admiring Malala’s perseverance and humility, especially in regards to her perspective based on her religion: Islam.
With one simple sentence, she had summed up (at the age of 16) what I have been trying to explain to people everywhere (I’m quite dense when it comes to keeping it short and simple lol):
“Islam is a religion of peace, humanity and brotherhood.”
Short and simple, yes? Well, she said something else after that too:
“[the Taliban] 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 misusing the name of Islam and Pashtun society for their own personal benefits.”
There are many inspirational quotes that she had spouted throughout the documentary, be in within the four walls of her home in the states or at the UN itself.
Family Comes First
Emotions welled up when the filmmaker, David Guggenheim, panned the scenario where young Malala was admitted to the hospital. Her parents were (understandably) frantic with worry, and were bracing for the worst outcome possible. Miraculously, Malala survived the bloody ordeal. Her first sentence when her eyes fluttered open was, “Where’s my father?”.
The father was overjoyed at, but they were too scared to meet his own daughter. He felt guilty, thinking that his daughter would accuse him for being the cause of this unfortunate ‘accident’, as it was due to him encouraging her to speak her thoughts out that this horror had occurred. Malala, on the other hand, was adamant that her father did nothing to push her to speak her thoughts out. Supportive, yes. Never persistent.
Another view of her family was shown when they had moved to the states. How her mother struggled to learn the English language, and while she wasn’t too happy being in the States, she does her very best to adapt in the neighbourhood. How her two brothers show unconditional brotherly love towards her, but are not blind to her faults. How her father is always there right next to her, to guide and support; he is her best friend.
(Hey this was uploaded only a week ago!)
WHY should you watch He Named Me MALALA?
This documentary film has the potential to inspire people. Let the voice of Malala and move you into action to raise the voices of marginalized groups, particularly girls to go to school; i.e. for their right to education. Remember, even one voice will be heard if silence dominates everyone else.
Will you be one of the few to make your stand? Or are you still thinking that women do not deserve these, and Malala ‘had it coming for her’ when she was shot at the head for even daring to stand up and fight for education for girls? Will you side the ones who warned Malala to never step foot in Pakistan again, lest she wishes to put an end to her life? Or would you see to it that children are given equal rights for education?
Noteworthy Articles & Social Postings
“I am honored to mark my 18th birthday with the brave and inspiring girls of Syria. I am here on behalf of the 28 million children who are kept from the classroom because of armed conflict. Their courage and dedication to continue their schooling in difficult conditions inspires people around the world and it is our duty to stand by them,” Malala said. “On this day, I have a message for the leaders of this country, this region and the world – you are failing the Syrian people, especially Syria’s children. This is a heartbreaking tragedy – the world’s worst refugee crisis in decades.”
“I urge world leaders to prioritize education because education is the only way through which we can defeat terrorism, fight against poverty and bring peace and prosperity. The money that is spent on just a few guns, if given to a child’s education, can change that child’s life.”
Please understand that I am not a feminist. I am never a feminist, and I doubt I’ll ever be one (I’m too cynical for my own good lol). But I do agree that when it comes to education, no one should have their rights robbed right in front of them. Do not keep people in the dark, do not assume that we are ALL happy to be kept in the dark. While I agree that ‘gender equality’ is a warped concept (I see pros and cons in this), educational rights should never be a part of this equation.