A 15 Year-Old Powerful Prophet

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A 15 Year-Old Powerful Prophet

Malala Yousafzai, a powerful prophet

Malala Yousafzai was born on 12 July 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan; she is 15 years old (some early reports erroneously had her as being 14).  Her name, “Malala,” means “grief stricken.”  But to me and many, she is a poet of peace, an a

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A 15 Year-Old Powerful Prophet

Malala Yousafzai, a powerful prophet

Malala Yousafzai was born on 12 July 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan; she is 15 years old (some early reports erroneously had her as being 14).  Her name, “Malala,” means “grief stricken.”  But to me and many, she is a poet of peace, an avid educational activist, a powerful prophet, and a testament to resurrection.  I marched with a picture of her in my pocket during the 2012 Atlanta Pride Parade.  For me, she is one of the most significant voices for justice since Dr. King.  I’m embarrassed to confess that I knew only a little about her until after the events of 9 October 2012.

Malala lives in Mingora with her parents, two younger brothers and, reportedly, two pet chickens. Adam Ellick, who filmed a two-part documentary (“Class Dismissed”) about her life in 2009, wrote a touching blog post about her family for the New York Times.  On his blog, Mr. Ellick writes of her father, Ziauddin, “he is a poet, a school owner and an unflinching educational activist. Ziauddin is truly one of most inspiring and loving people I’ve ever met, and my heart aches for him today.”  As Mr. Ellick interviewed Ziauddin and Malala over six months for the documentary, the journalist confessed:

For the first time in my career, I was in the awkward position of trying to convince a source, Ziauddin, that the story was not worth the risk. But Ziauddin fairly argued that he was already a public activist in Swat, prominent in the local press, and that if the Taliban wanted to kill him or his family, they would do so anyway. He said he was willing to die for the cause. But I never asked Malala if she was willing to die as well.

At age 11, Malala took on the Taliban herself, namely in her passionate advocacy for education for girls; her own defiant dream is to become a doctor.  She playfully and truthfully says,

I want to become a doctor. It’s my own dream, but my father told me that you have to become a politician, but I don’t like politics.“  (You can hear her say it in her own words by clicking the link.)

Under a pseudonym, in late 2008 and early 2009 she wrote a blog for  BBC Urdu for 10 weeks.  Her postings were prophetic and oft read; she “was awarded a national peace prize by the Pakistani government, nominated for an international award and made several public appearances as a campaigner for girls’ rights to education.”

As reported by the New York Times and news outlets around the world, on Tuesday, 9 October, “masked Taliban gunmen answered Ms. Yousafzai’s courage with bullets, singling out [Malala] on a bus filled with terrified schoolchildren, then shooting her in the head and neck. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack. All three survived, but…Ms. Yousafzai was in critical condition at a hospital in Peshawar, with a bullet possibly lodged close to her brain.“  The Taliban consider her advocacy for education rights an “obscenity.”  They vow, if she survives, to attempt to kill her again.

On Monday, 15 October, she was transported to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.  You can click here to read updates on her condition and progress, as well as send cards and donations.  You can also follow her on Facebook.  She is recovering and is in stable condition; her family remains in Pakistan.

She is a testament to resurrection for me:  fear, betrayal, death shall have neither the last nor the lasting word over her voice.  I pray that all the forces of good in the universe will conspire to grant her a long life that extends to and beyond a day when her witness is fulfilled; but even if the forces of evil manage to take her life, they shall not mute her voice, extinguish her light or dull the consciousness she has raised.  Long after her body returns to the earth from which it came and her soul returns to the source from which it sprung, her vision and voice will still call to all the sons and daughters of our sore planet.

Her name may mean “grief stricken,” and she has certainly seen much grief; but, for me, she holds a Light to dispel a great darkness.  Prophets hold before us a vision of how the world can be, even yearns to be; I want to hear her voice and participate with her yearning.

 

Read more http://whereheartandmindmeet.ccuccatl.com/2012/10/24/a-15-year-old-powerful-prophet/

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