Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II impressed by Pakistani teenager says her work is “wonderful”.
The Queen defined the exceptional work of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousufzai, who survived a murder attempt by the Taliban, as “wonderful” when the pair met at the Buckingham Palace.
She gave the Queen a copy of her book, I Am Malala, which the monarch accepted, adding: “That’s very kind of you. Thank you very much indeed.” Malala told the Queen she was enthusiastic about the right to an education. Speaking to the Queen, she said of her invite to the palace: “It is not just an invitation, it is an honour for me, and I hope we all work together for the education of every child, and especially in this country as well. I have heard about many children who cannot go to school.”
The Queen listened keenly and nodded as Malala spoke of her aim for every child to have an education, and replied, “It’s wonderful, isn’t it?” Malala burst into giggles as the Duke of Edinburg Prince Philip said, “There’s a thing about children going to school – they go to school because the parents don’t want them in the house.”
After this meeting, Malala said that she would not normally miss a day at school – but made an exception on this occasion. “I had to miss school because I was meeting the Queen. It’s such an honour for me to be here at Buckingham Palace. It’s really an honour to meet the Queen. I also wanted to raise the issue of girls not being educated on a higher platform so that the government in each country takes action on it. We need to fight for education in the suffering countries and developing countries, but also here.”
Malala and her father Zia-ud-din also spoke to the Queen and Duke about their past visits to Pakistan reminding them of their visit to Swat valley. Malala said: “The most interesting thing was that when I met the Queen, I said, ‘When you were in your 20s you came to Swat and came to the WhitePalace, where I’m from. It is a beautiful valley. It is like paradise on earth.”
At this occasion Malala asserted, “Nothing is important until you’re deprived of it. “I was living in Swat and I couldn’t go to school because of terrorists.”
While referring to those children in India who could not attend classes because of child labour, she said, “There are many hurdles in our way to get education. Here in the UK it’s easy for most children to go to school. They don’t realise it, but they’re not just going to school, they’re also building up their future.”
Malala urged youth to “respect their right to education and give it the importance it deserves, as well as standing up for those who do not have the same opportunities.” “We must not be silent. We must raise our voice,” she said.