Malala Yousafuzha from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi from India, together shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for their unfaltering fighting spirit against extremism and struggle for education. Monk Paper congratulates both activists on their well deserved win.
Yousafuzha, 17 years old, was in her chemistry class at Edgbaston High School for Girls in Birmingham when she received the news. The author of “I am Malala” caught attention after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban two years ago, following her campaigning for girl’s right to education. Malala survived a bullet short to her head, which had narrowly missed her brain. During a press conference held at Birmingham Library, the youngest and the only Pakistani to win the Nobel, Malala thanked her father for “not clipping my wings.”
Kailash Satyarthi, 60 years old, is a children’s rights campaigner has been fighting child trafficking with Save the Childhood Movement since 1980. He has followed in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and led peaceful protests to draw attention towards child exploitation. Upon receiving the news of the win, Satyarthi dedicated the prize to the children and told CNN-IBN news television, “It’s an honor to all those children who are still suffering in slavery, bonded labour and trafficking.” He also signaled of making a joint effort with Malala to not only fight against illiteracy and slavery but also “fight for peace”.
Given the long history of conflict between Pakistan and India, the collective win on the Peace Prize is a strong statement of common struggles and united will for a better society. Speaking of it, the head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee Thorbjorn Jagland said,”We have awarded two people, from Pakistan and India, a Muslim and a Hindu, and it is in itself a strong thing to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.”
The winners of Nobel Prizes in medicine, chemistry, physics, economics and literature have been announced too. The awards will be handed out in an official ceremony on 10 December, the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896. The Peace Prize will be distributed in Oslo and all others in Stockholm.