Malala Yousafzai and Twinkle Khanna on using your voice to help others
Highlights from the #TweakSummit 2020
You may have read about Malala Yousafzai being shot in the face by a Taliban gunman because she dared to speak up against the regime for women’s right to education.
But hearing her narrate the incident in her own words is an emotional experience, one that moved Twinkle Khanna to tears.
Kicking off Tweak India’s first anniversary celebrations at the first-ever Tweak Summit, the 23-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner recounts to Khanna her unreal route to global fame.
When she finally gained consciousness in a hospital in Birmingham, where she had been flown for life-saving surgery, she was surprised to see cards featuring messages of hope and solidarity from every corner of the globe. “Really? So people know something has happened to me? There were cards from India, Japan, Mexico… and then I realised, ‘wow’ I’ve received global support.”
So committed was the young girl to the ideal of education, that even on the day that she won the Nobel Peace Prize along with India’s Kailash Satyarthi, she insisted on finishing her school day.
“I was in my chemistry class and my school’s deputy headmistress came to call me, and she calls you when you’re in trouble, so I thought, ‘what have I done?’,” Yousafzai says. “She took me outside and said, ‘Malala, you’ve won the Nobel Peace Prize’. And I said, ‘Ummm thank you’ because you don’t really know how to respond to that. They called a school assembly and I spoke for the first time. But after that I went back to my physics class and finished my school day.”
Her dedication to the cause and determination to speak out for those without a voice drives her to this day. When Khanna asks if world leaders are intimidated by her, Yousafzai drew the conversation back to the cause closet to the heart, stating, “Not sure, but I think all I know is that when I go and meet them, I will highlight the issues that girls are facing.”
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Last week, @malalafund and I visited #Ethiopia, where I met girls who are in school, girls who are coding, girls who are using storytelling to help inspire other girls. I also met girls who came to Addis Ababa, the country’s capital, from rural areas. Many were promised an education, but were instead forced into domestic labour. Ethiopia has made great progress on education – but with more than five million girls out of school, we have more work to do. Follow my IG stories this week to learn more about the young women and girls’ education advocates I met in Ethiopia. Thank you to the organisations pictured here: @noble.cup, @icoglabsofficial, @yegna_official, @girleffect, @iieglobal and Population Council.
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Watch their heart-to-heart video where she relieves the painful days after her attack, talks about the solidarity and support she received from people around the world and of course, for the glimpses of her life as a student at the University of Oxford. Turns out, Malala Yousafzai is a fan of cricket, and even played for her college team ‘once or twice’.
Read her story in her memoir, I am Malala.