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Malala Yousafzai and two other girls were shot by a member of the Taliban last year on their way to school. Malala was an outspoken critic of the Taliban’s tactics in her native Swat Valley, and the soldiers were attempting to shut her up for good. But after their recovery, the three girls have continued their fight for a woman’s right to education in their homeland, and Malala may become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner (she was not chosen for the Nobel this year).
During a CBC News interview, Malala was shown a video where two friends of hers in Swat Valley pay tribute to her courage. “We are with you in your struggles, me and Shazia both are with you.” Shazia’s words remind me of Moses’ words to his predecessor, Aaron. “Do not think that you are on your own or alone. All of Afghanistan’s girls are with you. We will pray that you continue the journey, the struggle that you are on.” “Thank you Malala.”
The most affirming act she has received is not the world-wide attention. Though it will be helpful, the money she has received means little. In fact, being placed on a pedestal is the last thing she probably wants. But the affirmation from those she cares about is what will last in her memory. As Moses said to Aaron so many years ago, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’” (Deut 31:6) These are the words she hears from her friends, and they do more than anything else.