Malala Yousafzai Was Honored By the John F. Kennedy Library
She has shocked The Daily Show host John Stewart, told the President of the United States that drones were “fueling terrorism,” and was almost the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her role in spreading the message about the importance of the freedom of education. And over the weekend, she was here in Boston, to receive additional recognition for her work.
Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani woman that survived an assassination attempt at the hands of the Taliban was honored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation during a public forum where she promoted her memoir “I am Malala” on Saturday.
The young activist received a bronze bust of John F. Kennedy during the appearance and discussion in front of a packed hall at Boston College High School. “Islam tells us that it is a right, whether girl or boy, to get an education. It’s a responsibility and duty to have knowledge,” she said during the event.
One year ago, Yousafzai was nearly killed after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head as she took a bus home from school in Pakistan. She was sent to a British hospital for treatment, where she stayed for an extended period of time as she recovered.
The Taliban later admitted to trying to assassinate the teenager because of her efforts to bring educational tools and opportunities to women in Pakistan. Since she has become such a high-profile public speaker, the Taliban has issued additional threats to try and kill Yousafzai—something the teen brushed off of her shoulders during an interview on The Daily Show last week.
Similarly, she expressed the importance of education, and dismissed the fear of death, during her talk at BC High School. “I think we must not be afraid of death. I am not afraid of death. I have seen death once in my life,” she said during her visit to Boston over the weekend. She was joined by her father, Ziuaddin Yousafzai, during the discussion, who she thanked for his continued support.
Since she was shot, and after undergoing some intensive surgery, Yousafzai has been living in England, and continuing her own education; that is, when she isn’t traveling the world, speaking about her experience, and calling on President Barack Obama to end the war on terror by stopping the use of drones.
Yousafzai recently became the youngest Nobel Prize nominee, too, adding to her list of recent achievements, but did not win the prestigious award.
In September, Yousafzai was honored at Harvard University, where she received the Harvard Foundation’s 2013 Peter Gomes Humanitarian Award. During her stop at the school, she told reporters she hoped to bring the type of top-level education opportunities the school has to offer to women all over the world.