What are the qualities a person should have to be considered heroic?
What is your mental picture of a hero/heroine?
Look at the following definition? Were you right?
The following is a definition given by a young British person:
Can you think of any figure (in the field of history, science, literature, art, politics, etc.) that matches these definitions?
How old are the heroic figures you came up with? Is any of them of your age?
What are the rights generally taken for granted in our country which are not necessarily guaranteed elsewhere in the world?
When I think of a heroic figure the word that pops to my mind is courage and the image I picture in my mind is that of a person overcoming incredible difficulties, of a person who manages to keep his/her balance regardless of the pressures s/he is subjected to.
We are going to work on an incredible young girl’s act of defiance, an act that almost caused her life to come to an end, an act that has sparked constructive reactions all over the world, an act that has reminded me of how young people can make a difference in this world and how adults can learn from them.
Malala Yousafzai is a young woman striving for getting education in developing countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Africa. She was attacked in 2012 in Swat when she was going home from school; she was shot by militants Taliban because she had been criticising them for not allowing girls for getting education in the Swat Vellay.
Read the following article about Malala and be prepared to answer the following questions in class together. I am indebted to the idea of a post on Malala and to the article to my colleague Nella Maccarrone. As you already know I often work with Nella and the other great colleague Laura Cimetta, whose website you have visited on different occasions. She created a post on Malala too, visit it! What would I do without these friends and colleagues that spark enthusiasm and creativity in my teaching?
Now watch a BBC Interview to Malala. What are the questions you would ask Malala? Jot down the questions asked by the interviewer? Do they satisfy you? What strikes you about Malala’s way of speaking?
Malala has become a heroic figure around the world and has inspired petitions, debates and prompted a beautiful song, proof that Malala’s voice sparked creativity in some young singers who apparently seem so distant from her personal fight and plight, but certainly share the same need to see their rights preserved. They can go to school without seeing their right to an education thwarted by the system, so why did they write this song in support of Malala? I am Malala official song (the lyrics)
Different star figures have taken to raise people’s awareness and inform them of Malala’s plight.
Look at the following video clips and be prepared to discuss in class the different ways these famous figures used their influential public resonance to endorse Malala’s cause.
Which one did you like best? Why?
The boundary between self-referentiality (self-publicity) and true humanitarian support is very fine, almost impossible to put it down in black and white.
Now I would like you to create a video with quotes, catchphrases, images, poems written for Malala, a page of her diary (written by you but inspired by her!) with a background song to be posted on Youtube to celebrate this great young woman.
This is the way some teenagers reacted to Malala’s words. Let me hear your voices too, let me see how you can pay tribute to Malala too.
In 2014 this Pakistani child education activist and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner, have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize. At the age of just 17, Malala is the youngest ever recipient of the prize. The Nobel committee praised the pair’s “struggle against the suppression of children and young people”.
Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, paid tribute to Malala’s achievements by saying: “Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai, has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education and has shown by example that children and young people too can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.”
Malala was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in 2013, and awarded the EU’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize that year.