If you’re unfamiliar with the name Malala Yousafzai, you better catch yourself up. Malala is a young teenage girl from Swat, Pakistan. She is not only an advocate for children and women’s rights, but is also the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner ever.
Malala advocated for her right (and other girls rights in general) to attend school and receive an education while living in Pakistan. In October of 2012, at the age of 15, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman who opposed her advocacy. She was on a school bus with some of her friends, two of which were also wounded. You can read more about Malala’s life in a profile by BBC here.
According to Malala’s website, she writes, “I don’t want to be thought of as the girl who was shot by the Taliban but the girl who fought for education. This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.” The Malala Fund is currently promoting female secondary education in Pakistan, Nigeria, Syria (and among Syrian refugees), Kenya, and Sierra Leone.
“He Named Me Malala” is a documentary following Malala’s life, and was released in early October of this year. You can see the trailer from YouTube below.
I have yet to see the documentary (as it appears it has yet to be released in an online format), but I have heard very good things about it. The only criticisms of the film I’ve seen are that it is directed toward an education audience (as a learning tool), and that it doesn’t spotlight Malala’s life as much as it should have.
Regardless, I hope you add this documentary to your watch list. It’s currently being played in select theaters (which you can look-up on the movie’s website), and may be available online soon. I think that it is a story worth listening to, and the documentary spotlights a problem that many Americans are unfamiliar with.
If you want to learn more about Malala and her campaign, I suggest looking at Malala’s organization and purchasing a copy of her book “Malala,” which is available on Amazon and from Barnes & Noble. You can also watch the New York Times documentary, “Class Dismissed” (2009) below, or from their website.
***Warning: The video does show very graphic images and footage that can be triggering/disturbing to some viewers. Please watch with caution.
What we're watching.