Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has asked world leaders to “choose books over bullets.” The youngest Nobel laureate wrote that, even if she seemed naïve, she would still measure the world from the perspective of a hopeful teenager.
Malala, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, said she would visit Oslo, where she was awarded the honor, to ensure that the promise to provide education to every child had been kept. On Sunday, Malala will turn 18.
Because of her activism on behalf of other Pakistani girls, Malala was shot in an assasination attempt Oct. 9, 2012, when she was 15.
Malala’s essay was exclusively published in the Telegraph. She wrote that she had been considered “unique” because girls in Pakistan have long been deprived of getting an education. However, there are more than 60 million other girls in the world who are deprived of education, she wrote.
Malala wrote about a mass killing in which more than 150 schoolchildren had been killed by terrorists in Peshawar, Pakistan. She thanked people for supporting her. “You spoke up for me, prayed for me, you sang my song during those dark days when my voice was silenced,” Malala wrote. “I became stronger because of the support of my family and the support from the millions of sisters and brothers from all around the world.”
Malala mentioned a girl named Mezon whom she had met in Jordan. While the girl struggles for basic needs like water and food, she is desperate to learn. Malala said the girl wanted to make a difference in her country. The girl, who lives in a refugee camp, wants to convey the message that girls like her have an intense passion for education.
This is the first time Malala will visit Oslo since she received the Nobel. Pakistan Today reported that Malala would attend the Oslo Education Summit and ask world leaders to keep their promise to ensure 12 years of free quality education to every child. She will ask for an additional annual investment of $39 billion to make the promise a reality.
More than 100 countries signed the Incheon Declaration in Korea in May 2015. The ministers of the countries promised to give free education to all children by 2030.