Malala Yousafzai quotes speak in great detail about the struggle she faced as a young girl. She grew up in Pakistan and lived in a culture where girls and women stayed and at home and made babies. This wasn’t the life she wanted for herself and other girls like her and it almost costed her life. She was shot by someone in the name of the Taliban. As someone who took inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi she didn’t let that stop her.
Malala Yousafzai was shot through her eye while traveling on the bus home from school, this incident proved the turning point in her life. She now rallies as an activist for education for all especially females and won the award for the youngest Nobel Prize laureate ever surpassing Martin Luther King Jr. who received his at 35 while she at 17. Below are many quotes from this brave lady to inspire all.
“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced."
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world."
“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful."
“Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow." Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human."
“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back."
“If one man can destroy everything, why can't one girl change it?"
“Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons."
“The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. they are afraid of women."
“With guns you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism."
“Once I had asked God for one or two extra inches in height, but instead he made me as tall as the sky, so high that I could not measure myself."
“We human beings don't realize how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and a sensitive loving heart. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which see a world of colours and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, and two ears to hear the words of love. As I found with my ear, no one knows how much power they have in their each and every organ until they lose one."
“My mother always told me," hide your face people are looking at you." I would reply," it does not matter; I am also looking at them."
“Let us pick up our books and our pens,” I said. “They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world."
“I don't want revenge on the Taliban, I want education for sons and daughters of the Taliban."
“I told myself, Malala, you have already faced death. This is your second life. Don't be afraid — if you are afraid, you can't move forward."
“Life isn't just about taking in oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide."
“Our men think earning money and ordering around others is where power lies. They don't think power is in the hands of the woman who takes care of everyone all day long, and gives birth to their children."
“I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, ‘If he comes, what would you do Malala?’ then I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’
“I don't want to be thought of as the "girl who was shot by the Taliban" but the "girl who fought for education." This is the cause to which I want to devote my life."
"He believed that lack of education was the root of all of Pakistan’s problems. Ignorance allowed politicians to fool people and bad administrators to be re-elected."
“The Taliban could take our pens and books, but they couldn’t stop our minds from thinking."
“Outside his office my father had a framed copy of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher, translated into Pashto. It is a very beautiful letter, full of good advice. “Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside,” it says. “Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat."
“I raise my voice not so that i can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard."
“We were scared, but our fear was not as strong as our courage."
“We liked to be known as the clever girls. When we decorated our hands with henna for holidays and weddings, we drew calculus and chemical formulae instead of flowers and butterflies."
“I reassured my mother that it didn’t matter to me if my face was not symmetrical. Me, who had always cared about my appearance, how my hair looked! But when you see death, things change. “It doesn’t matter if I can’t smile or blink properly,” I told her. “I’m still me, Malala. The important thing is God has given me my life."
“When someone takes away your pens you realize quite how important education is."
“read thousands of books and I will power myself with knowledge. Pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism."
"If people were silent nothing would change."
“I don't want awards, I want my daughter. I wouldn't exchange a single eyelash of my daughter for the whole world."
“His sisters -- my aunts -- did not go to school at all, just like millions of girls in my country. Education had been a great gift for him. He believed that lack of education was the root of all of Pakistan's problems. Ignorance allowed politicians to fool people and bad administrators to be re-elected. He believed schooling should be available for all, rich and poor, boys and girls. The school that my father dreamed of would have desks and a library, computers, bright posters on the walls and, most important, washrooms."
“I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right."
“One year ago I left my home for school and never returned."
“At night our fear is strong . . . but in the morning, in the light, we find our courage again."
“We like to put sacred texts in flowing waters, so I rolled it up, tied it to a piece of wood, placed a dandelion on top, and floated it in the stream which flows into the Swat River. Surely God would find it there."
“Education is our right, I said. Just as it is our right to sing. Islam has given us this right and says that every girl and boy should go to school. The Quran says we should seek knowledge, study hard and learn the mysteries of our world."
“Mahatma Gandhi said, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."
“It seemed to me that everyone knows they will die one day. My feeling was nobody can stop death; it doesn't matter if it comes from a Talib or cancer. So I should do whatever I want to do."
“Now, every morning when I open my eyes, I long to see my old room full of my things, my clothes all over the floor and my school prizes on the shelves."
“What a strange world it was when a girl who wanted to go to school had to defy militants with machine guns - as well as her own family."
“Like my father I've always been a daydreamer, and sometimes I'd imagine that on the way home a terrorist might jump out and shoot me on those steps. I wondered what I would do. Maybe I'd take off my shoes and hit him, but then I'd think if I did that there would be no difference between me and a terrorist. It would be better to plead, "OK, shoot me, but first listen to me. What you are doing is wrong. I'm not against you personally, I just want every girl to go to school."
“Kindness can only be repaid with kindness. It can’t be repaid with expressions like ‘thank you’ and then forgotten."
“We felt like the Taliban saw us as like little dolls to control, telling us what to do and how to dress. I thought if God wanted us to be like that He would not have made us all different."
Malala Yousafzai is an honorary Canadian and now lives in the United Kingdom. Her quotes will inspire many especially young girls who like her who have to fight for the right to education and the ability to choose for themselves. In 2018 she was interview by Oprah Winfrey about her journey. As you read about her, may you find her quotes motivating and inspiring giving you hope.