The last day of the 14th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival, held on 28 February saw Nobel Prize recipient, author, and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai talk about a range of subjects such as education, human rights, and her hopes for India-Pakistan relationships.
An inspiration to millions of young girls across the globe, Malala engaged in almost an hour-long conversation with journalist, and policy and culture consultant Pragya Tiwari, around her new book We are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World.
The session kicked off with the 23-year-old giving audiences a glimpse of her inspirations, journey and roots. She spoke of what inspired her to come forward and share her story in the first place. She said that it was important for her to not just tell her own story but also remind people that her story is not unique. Malala spoke of how her story echoes that of millions of girls who do not have access to education, because of a myriad of reasons including early child marriages, poverty, cultural norms, wars and conflicts.
Malala also spoke about being displaced in her own country, due to the conflict between the government forces and the Taliban insurgents, her life during this time in a refugee camp and the uncertainty she faced at not knowing when she will be home again.
Referring to her latest book, she spoke about her visits to various refugee camps and how around 80 million girls have been displaced from their homes.
She said that she decided to write the book We Are Displaced to tell the stories of these young girls who lose their homes and who decide to become refugees only for the sake of a safe future as they usually do not have an option. “They are pushed by the situation they’re living in to lose their homes and to find safety elsewhere.”
When Pragya asked about her source of courage, Malala simply said that it all stemmed from a want for education and the desire to live a peaceful life.
The young Nobel laureate also spoke of how minorities across the world are at risk and need protection in every country.
During the session, Malala also briefly spoke of how she believes that the philosophy of having borders and divisions doesn’t work anymore and the people in India and Pakistan want to live in peace. She shared how it is her “dream to see the two countries become good friends”.
The Jaipur Literature Festival 2021, which took place on an exclusive virtual platform, concluded yesterday.