Imagine it is the end of the school day. You huddle onto the crowded bus that will take you home and, just as you take your seat, a man carrying a gun barges in and yells out your name. The man shouts that if you don't reveal yourself, he will proceed to shoot the people around you - your friends and classmates. Terrified, you stand up and after waking up in the hospital nearly two weeks later, they inform you that your assassin had shot you twice, once in the neck and once in the head.
As a student at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, this may be a little difficult to imagine but for Malala Yousafzai, a fifteen year old Pakistani girl, this is her reality. Malala was a victim of an attempted assassination on her bus ride home from school on October 9th, 2012, by the Taliban in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. Why? Because Malala has a voice and she decided to use that voice to speak up about the injustices that have been occurring in her country. The Taliban is a group of extremely oppressive men who do not give women the rights they deserve; one of these rights is the right to an education. Malala is a girl with a passion for education and, for that, she became a threat and a target.
Today, Malala is alive and well and is being taken care of at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England where she is continuing to fight. As a school community, we will be joining her in her struggle as well. Recently, STM students participated in a solidarity movement to raise awareness of her situation by taking class pictures while holding images of Malala, to symbolize that we recognize her courageous actions and that we will continue to support her as well. These school pictures will be sent to the hospital where Malala is recovering to let her know that her story has reached us in Canada, a place where education is a requirement, not a privilege, and to let her know we have been moved by her determination. Malala Yousafzai is an inspiration that the world sorely needs and the whole world needs to know about her story.