He Named Me Malala

by | Sep 23, 2015 | Parenting/Family, Social Good

Late last week I had the opportunity to see a moving movie that will be coming to theaters this October.

He Named Me Malala


It’s a movie based on the book written by Malala Yousafzai. Malala was shot in the face by the Taliban when she was 15 (she is now 18). She was shot by the Taliban on a bus in Pakistan because she was going to school and they had decided girls were not to go to school.

This movie is significant for obvious reasons, but please allow me to explain why it moved me.

It is the same reason that prompts me to share and do for the causes I share and do for – for children. We can all probably agree that the cause of children is something that grabs many hearts. For me, my role as mom has made my heart connect more deeply than before I became a mom.

I have children who are MADE to go to school (or be schooled). Our country REQUIRES it. It is very difficult to keep a child in the Untied States away from school (be it public, home, or private). The quest for knowledge is required. It is not only a privilege – it is a right that has legal protections. Education is not something my children, or any of my peers’ children have to fight for.

To watch this movie and hear the story of Malala is a needed reminder… sure I KNOW that children in other countries don’t have the same educational opportunities as my children. I know that.

But as stories do, they help us do more than know. Stories can move us to become changers. Stories can move us to empathy. Stories give depth to our fingertip understanding of the struggles… by “fingertip understanding” I am referring our engagement with the our remote controls and computer keyboards and mobile devices as they allow us to call up news regarding world issues the moment we decide to catch up on breaking news. Those devices that keep emotion and the ability to truly empathize at bay. The 1/2 minute glimpses of breaking world stories lack the depth we need to understand better.

There was a moment in the movie they showed Malala visiting children who were walking in the dry desert. They were going to get books. If we have to walk to get books, it is to the library because it is a nice day for a walk.

We are more than fortunate.

The group was a mix of boys and girls and the message that sunk deep into my heart was… these kids are HUNGRY. Not just for nourishment for their bodies, but they are hungry to LEARN. There is NO WAY ON EARTH my kids would consider walking in the heat of the desert sun to get books a good thing.

And that is not a slam on my children – it is a comparative of the fight millions of world children have vs. the privilege of ours.

Just as my kids have never known physical hunger, that have most certain never experienced a hunger for learning. I am thankful.

But as a mom, it also breaks my heart.

That opportunity for my own children has never been withheld and definitely not threatened.

It is an absolutely unknown reality for us.

Therefore… I urge you to see the movie.

  • • To gain a deeper understanding of the struggle.
  • • To see Malala as a stinker-of-a-sister to her brothers.
  • • To witness her insecurities about her studies (she live in the Untied Kingdom now… and just because you win a Nobel Peace prize, it doesn’t mean science tests are any easier…).
  • • To laugh (you will).
  • • And to cry.

It is a beautiful film.

Please check out the Malala Fund, an organization that empowers girls through education. The movie debuts — October 2 in New York and LA and October 9 nation wide. Mark your calendars.

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