These were the concluding remarks made by Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in her historic address to the UN General Assembly last week.
That a teenager from the mountainous Swat Valley region of Pakistan should be delivering a speech in one of the world’s most venerated and renowned seats of power might, under normal circumstances, be deemed significant in itself. That is was the day of her 16th birthday might also be considered momentous.
In truth, however, the most significant aspect of this whole occasion was that Malala was alive and in a position to deliver her powerful speech at all.
Malala first came to some prominence in late 2008 when she started to write a blog for the BBC under an assumed name about the difficulties in accessing education under Taliban rule.
At this time, the Taliban had imposed a ban on girls’ education throughout Malala’s homeland. It became so popular that the blog, initially written in Urdu, was translated into English.
Her writings were non-political but clearly reflected her desire for female education. They mostly talked about her school, studies, life at home, and friends…