In The Spotlight: Malala Yousafzaivis

By: Shama Harrysingh

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee.  “I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.”

Seventeen year old Malala Yousafzaivis from the Swat District, Pakistan’s Northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province is known for her activism for rights to education and for women especially in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school.

During her visit to Trinidad and Tobago in July 2014, she visited many of the children’s homes where she was entertained.  She said she was in Trinidad  and Tobago to continue her campaign for education and to tell the world that in this country children were getting  one  hundred percent free Primary to Tertiary  Education and Trinidad & Tobago  should be  an example to other countries of the world.

According to Malala, many nations can learn from Trinidad & Tobago and her message to other countries is to make education free for every child as it is here in Trinidad and Tobago.  She visited many of the children’s homes including the National academy for the Performing arts (NAPA), Lady Hochoy Home (South), Children’s Home and Crisis Centre, Jai Lakshmi Children’s Home and the EL Shaddai Restoration Home.

Malala and her family were treated to a mini-concert by the children from the Lady Hochoy Home and other children’s homes.

Malala Yousafzai & Sirju Mohan
Malala Yousafzai & Sirju Mohan

As part of her visit, she was invited by Tertiary Education Minister  Dr. Fazal Karim as part of the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s (UTT) tenth anniversary celebrations and the celebration of Eid ul Fitr.   Malala was the featured speaker and guest of honour. In her speech, she said: ”I am really thankful that even though most of you are not Muslims, you are still celebrating Eid with your Muslim brothers and sisters, thank you so much for showing the world how people live in harmony together with each other.”

At the end, she joined the performers in greeting and wishing everyone Eid Mubarak.

At the end of her speech, special presentations were made to Malala including that of an  oil portrait by Sirju Seeharack Mohan, a renown, award- winning  Florida based   Trinidadian  Artist.

Sirju has produced and presented portraits to the Prime Minister of Trindad and Tobago Hon.Kamla Persad Bissessar, President Annthony Carmona, Hon. Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan, Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago in Washington , His Excellency. Dr Neil Parsan,  Trinidad & Tobago Consulate General Miami, Hon Dr. Anil Ramnanan, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jennifer Carroll former Lt Gov .Fla., President Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama, Mahatma Gandhi, Jennifer Lopez, Mayor & Commissioner of Pompano Beach, International Award winning Journalists and more.

Culturally devoted artist, Sirju Seeharack Mohan has painted the beauty of Trinidad and Tobago for more than five decades

South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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