Last weekend I was given the opportunity to screen the documentary, He Named Me Malala. It was such a powerful film that it took a few days to gather my thoughts. Having done so now, I’d like to share with you who, in my humble opinion, should see this film:
Fathers. The relationship between Malala Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin, is nothing short of beautiful. It is he who empowers her to pursue her dreams and to speak from the heart. She refers to them as one soul in two different bodies. He is everything that a father should be for a daughter.
Sons and Daughters. If you are, or have ever been, anyone’s son or daughter, there are lessons in this film for you. Hatred and oppression do not create progress. Malala does not want to be remembered as the girl who got shot. She wants to be remembered as the girl who stood up. Not only did she stand up for herself, but for all the daughters and sisters who suffer at the hands of injustice.
The oppression shown to girls and women in other parts of the world should never reach home. Instead, we should use this to recognize that progress will only take place when we value one another as equals, and when we lift each other up with kindness, dignity, and respect.
Teachers. Malcolm Forbes once said that, “The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” Yet education is a gift that not everyone is given. He Named Me Malala is a poignant reminder that, “One book. One pen. One child. One teacher – can change the world.” Showing this film to students (or encouraging students to see the film) can remind them of the power that an education provides.
Students. When students are reminded the value of an education, they may take it just a little more seriously. When they are shown that on the other side of the world, a young girl is willing to risk it all just to go to school, they may sit up just a little bit taller in class. When they are shown a film as powerful as this one, they may better understand the values we hold dear in this country, such as the right to an education.
Anyone who takes freedom for granted. It saddened me so when Malala calmly stated that the beautiful soul of Islam has been tarnished by a group of people who desecrates and oppresses in the name of religion. In this country the very first amendment states our freedom of speech and religion, the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. In other countries people are not so fortunate, with their freedoms taken from them on a daily basis. Let’s not forget to be grateful for what we have here, and continue to support others, like Malala, around the world.
It is no mistake that the 5 types of people who should see He Named Me Malala covers pretty much everyone. Do yourself a favor and see it. You won’t regret it.
Images courtesy of HeNamedMeMalala.com.