x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

The Malala miracle

Malala's spirit must serve as a reminder of all that can be accomplished with courage, hope and commitment

'Today you can see that I'm alive," said Malala Yousafzai in her first on-camera address after an assassination attempt on her last year. The Pakistani schoolgirl, who was shot by Taliban militants for advocating girls' right to education, was speaking after being discharged from hospital in the UK. She is now likely to secure permanent residence in the country, where she plans to pursue her studies - and her dream.

That dream is likely to include an even higher public profile than before she was shot. Last month, a signature campaign was launched in the UK as part of a push by women's rights advocates to nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize. Rightly so, because Malala stood for the advancement of her generation and for an ideal that values equality in society. Malala speaks for young girls across the world, who are victims of repression, discrimination and denial of an education. She is an inspiration, a harbinger of change and a symbol of defiance.

Ironically her name means "grief stricken" in the Pashto language. But she proved to be far more powerful than the cowardly Taliban. As she continues to recover from her horrific injuries, she will serve as a reminder of what can be accomplished with courage, hope and commitment.