A world leader, and she’s just 17

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I generally focus on issues and talk about people only to the extent they have some impact on those issues.  I’m making an exception today for an exceptional person.

She’s only 17 years old, and already she’s done more for the world than most adults. This rather petite and unassuming girl hasn’t created a cure for cancer or developed the next generation smart phone. Her accomplishment isn’t based on tangible things. It comes from her inner self—tremendous courage and leadership that far exceed what you might expect from someone so young and diminutive.

Malala Yousafzai has shown herself to be very special, an army of one, so to speak. You remember Malala, don’t you?  I hope you do. Two years ago (almost to the day), she was pulled off a school bus (actually, more of a rickety pickup truck, I suspect) in Pakistan by a group of masked Taliban thugs.  Their goal was to kill Malalal for speaking out about the importance of education and for telling her friends she wanted to be a doctor. Her defiance was a threat to the Taliban and had to be suppressed.

Thinking they could destroy Malala and the ideals she stood for, the thugs shot her in the head. Her death would serve as warning to others. Problem is—for the thugs, that is—Malala didn’t die.

Somehow, Malala survived, thanks to skillful surgeons in Pakistan and England. She now resides in England. It’s too dangerous to return home, although Malala dreams of going back home. After much surgery and therapy, Malala is practically good as new and still speaking up about the importance of education.

Last week, Malala, at age 17, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The world can be a frightening place. ISIS is terrorizing the Middle East, Boko Haram is kidnapping school girls in Nigeria, drug cartels control large areas of Mexico—the list goes on.

But, then there’s Malala, just 17 years old and bright as the North Star.

I am in awe of her.


Jack D’Aurora writes for


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  1. lotenna  October 14, 2014

    My love for Malala can never be over estimated. The young girl is just a paragon of courage and inspiration.


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