Pakistani-American Raps For #Malala Yousafzai #spokenword #poetry #vaw #Taliban


A man holds a candle next a picture of Malala Yousufzai at a school in Lahore. (Photo: REUTERS/Mohsin Raza)

A man holds a candle next a picture of Malala Yousufzai at a school in Lahore. (Photo: REUTERS/Mohsin Raza)

By- Suka Kalantari,  at the  theworld.org

The day after 14-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out for women’s education, Zaki Syed, a 24-year-old Pakistani-American rapper from Sacramento, California, started getting a lot of phone calls asking him to write a rap about it.

“I was getting calls from people in Pakistan saying, ‘Hey, you have to do something. You have to write something.’ Even my mom was like, ‘You do a rap for everybody, you should do something for her too.’”

But Syed says he had already began writing a spoken-word poem dedicated to Malala Yousafzai, which he’s now posted on YouTube.

Syed starts the spoken-word poem saying, “All she really wants to do is read. The first verse in the Quran is to read.” He said that an important belief in Islam is to educate ones self.

“Reading and getting an education is an Islamic right,” Syed said. “This was just a way of responding to the Taliban extremists and possibly any future extremists who try to come out and justify what had been done. I wanted to make it very clear that Islam, or God, would not condone what they did. The Quran says that God is telling the prophet to read. It’s like your Muslim duty to go out and be educated and be knowledgeable.”

In both Urdu and English, Syed raps, “You sisters, you mothers, you daughters: the respect of the nation is in your hands.” He explains it’s a very old saying in Pakistan. He sang it in both languages to make sure young women in Pakistan understood the lyrics.

“It says that the nation is in women’s hands. And it’s up to them to lead the way. I was thinking of all Muslims when I wrote this. My attack was towards the Taliban, but also to tell the nation of Pakistan that literacy is something we’re suffering and she was trying to advance it. She is a representation of something that people in Pakistan desperately need, which is education.”

Syed, who is also a sociology student at Sacramento State, produced another rap video last month urging tolerance and understanding of Sikhs in the wake of the Wisconsin shootings. In an interview with The World’s Marco Werman he says he uses rap to break down stereotypes.

“I think that the media has always stereotyped – made a stereotype – that anyone who has a beard, who has a turban, must be a terrorist,” Syed said. “That’s very untrue and, in fact, most Muslims don’t even have turbans.”

Syed has also rapped about Pakistan’s earthquake, the floods in Bangladesh, and the discrimination that sometimes comes with growing up as a Muslim-American after 9-11.

Lyrics to “Malala Yousafzai”
Chorus:

All she really wants to do is Read
The first verse in the Quran is to Read
Because when you read to the people you go out and Lead
When Malala bleeds the whole country bleeds
Because she represents the seed of what we need
So many mouths and minds to feed
So when the Taliban, Yeah when the Taliban shot Malala
They shot a part of Pakistan, The Part of Pakistan
That believed in the first verse of the Quran and that is
and that is to read
All she really wants to do is Read
The first verse in the Quran is to Read
Because when you read to the people you go out and Lead
When Malala bleeds the whole country bleeds
Because she represents the seed of what we need
So many mouths and minds to feed

Lyrics:
Now Swat Valley is a beautiful place
But Swat Valley has turned into a murderous place
Swat Valley is also the same place in which Malala was born in 1998
Who would of thought a gunman would try to decide her fate
But no gunman can decide her fate, only God can
I think God had a plan for her to fight Taliban
Woman’s education was at the top of her goal
So when they banned school
They straight up crushed her soul
So she started to blog and she started to protest, and pretty soon became activists
A symbol for Pakistani people that were starting to feel repressed
Stuck in war between the east and the west
U.S. foreign policy and Taliban causing a mess
So when Malala was shot by an extremist the whole country screamed that shedidn’t deserve this
It sparked of something you wouldn’t believe
People saying the Taliban has hijacked my country
And that it is time for them to leave
Protests in Numerous Pakistani Cities
And I heard 50 Islamic clerics have issued Fatwas condemning the Talibans actions now
Wow like how could a child so young become the voice of inspiration
For everyone, like so many women who go to school and then work at night
Only to come home and prepare meals for their families at night
But one of these women told me she is no longer feeling bad about her life
No she is thinking about Malala’s sacrifice and how she herself is lucky to live in a
place where she can be independent and utilize her education right
An inspiration and Light so I use Malala’s message when I talk to Pakistani Women to Unite
Tum batia, Tum Maaou, Tum baana quam ki izzat aap ki haath main hai
You sisters, you mothers, you daughters the respect of the nation is in your hands
So don’t say we cant only say that we can, to a higher education
To a better Pakistan, my Pakistan, your Pakistan
Mera Pakistan, Tumara Pakistan, Hamara Pakistan
Yee Pyari Zameen aur yee pyara Asman
Broken into little tukra by the U.S. Drone Strikes and Taliban
And somebody better please help the Taliban understand that
The Prophet Muhammad told us that Paradise was at our Mothers feet
And to honor our daughters and to treat them with respect so tell me Tehreeki
Taliban is this how you treat your Muslim Sister with respect, by shooting her in the
head and the neck
What kind of Islam is this, what kind of Islam is this, What kind of Islam is this
Please let me know what your following cause I know its not Islam
How could you hurt a girl for trying to follow the first verse of the Quran
Because all she wanted to do was to read

Chorus:
All she really wants to do is Read
The first verse in the Quran is to Read
Because when you read to the people you go out and Lead
When Malala bleeds the whole country bleeds
Because she represents the seed of what we need
So many mouths and minds to feed
So when the Taliban, Yeah when the Taliban shot Malala
They shot a part of Pakistan, The Part of Pakistan
That believed in the first verse of the Quran and that is
and that is to read
Also if the U.S is get inspired by women rights
And wants to fight the good fight then stop the drop strikes
Because education needs to be at the core of any mission
So stop dropping bombs and start dropping knowledge
You say you are for womens rights then why don’t you build a women’s college
Because Illiteracy and Poverty is disease, and drone strikes are the propaganda
on which the Taliban feeds, people joining them because theyre angry that theyre
families have been wiped out entirely
And revenge could keep us in a mental fortitude of slavery
So I am praying really hard for Malalas recovery
Because she brought the proof to the truth, and the truth to abosolute,
And absolute to the proof, proof to the absolute, and absolute to the truth
That’s what happens when education succeeds
Iqra bismi rabbika, read, read, read

 

Attack on Malala Yousafzai strengthens resolve of Pakistani schoolgirls- #VAW #gender #justice #taliban


Students say Taliban are mistaken if they think they can scare girls away from school.

Khabar Wire Service

October 19, 2012

 

Militants who tried to kill Malala Yousafzai have strengthened the resolve of schoolgirls to attend school, her friends said.

  • A young woman holds up a portrait of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai at a candlelight vigil for her in Kathmandu on Monday (October 15th). Militant operatives shot the the 14-year-old pro-education activist October 9th in an assassination attempt. [Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters]A young woman holds up a portrait of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai at a candlelight vigil for her in Kathmandu on Monday (October 15th). Militant operatives shot the the 14-year-old pro-education activist October 9th in an assassination attempt. [Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters]
  • A girl participating in a rally organised by the National Students Federation in Lahore, Pakistan on Monday (October 15th) holds a hand-made poster next to an image of Malala Yousafzai. [Mohsin Raza/Reuters]A girl participating in a rally organised by the National Students Federation in Lahore, Pakistan on Monday (October 15th) holds a hand-made poster next to an image of Malala Yousafzai. [Mohsin Raza/Reuters]

Even the girls who saw a gunman shoot the 14-year-old pro-education activist and two schoolmates on their bus on October 9th in Mingora, in the Swat District of Pakistan, are not backing down on their hopes and dreams of getting an education.

“The clear proof of our bravery is that – when the attackers asked us, ‘Who among you is Malala?’ – none of us replied seconds before (the shooter) began firing,” said 10th-grader Shazia, one of two other injured girls and recovering from bullet wounds to her shoulder and neck.

The girl said outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan‘s (TTP) claim of responsibility “bears no meaning for us”.

“We know the Taliban militants ‘execute’ their opponents,” Shazia said. “We know that only the Taliban can do this uncivilised act of attacking girls.”

The girls and their families remember atrocities the Taliban committed during the militants’ two-year reign of terror (2007-2009) in Swat. Citing examples, she mentioned the killing of women; bombings of mosques, schools, funeral ceremonies and the Taliban’s displaying of foes’ severed heads.

“I was neither scared the moment when the gunmen approached us nor am I now because we went to school [anyway] when Swat was under the Taliban and thousands of students had opted to stay home,” Shazia recalled.

“This [attack] cannot dent our determination, and the only weapon is to arm girls with education and defeat guns with pens,” said Kanat, the third girl injured in the shooting. “We will continue education to accomplish Malala’s mission.”

Kanat said “there’s no looking back” for Malala, mentioning her own plans to become a doctor.

TTP tactics won’t deter girls

The TTP want to frighten students into abandoning school, but won’t succeed, according to Asma Ali, a physics teacher at Malala’s school. Students showed their defiance when they turned up in droves for the October 12th morning assembly to pray for Malala.

The credit for that attitude belongs to Malala, she said, adding, “Our students aren’t afraid.”

The attempted murder of the Mingora resident who under a pen name blogged in 2009 about Taliban abuses for the BBC Urdu service, aroused widespread debate in Pakistan but has not shaken the resolve of the girls of Mingora.

“If we feared the Taliban, we couldn’t get education; therefore, we are totally oblivious to the Taliban’s attacks,” said Spogmay, a 7th grade girl who was on Malala’s bus. “It was like hell. For a moment, I thought we would not survive, the way (the gunman) fired at us indiscriminately.

“I am sure that the scales of justice would tip in our favour and ever-smiling, brave and intelligent Malala will regain health very soon,” Spogmay said, adding students would rally around Malala to ensure women’s education in the future.

Malala’s best friend Shazia said, “I will give my life in exchange for Malala’s. Losing a friend like her is unbearable.”

She recalled how Malala persuaded the girls to attend schools in the Taliban era.

“Malala used to tell us they should wear veils in compliance with the Taliban’s directives, but shouldn’t remain absent.”

Saeeda, an 8th-grade student at the same school said, “We have promised Malala that we should fight the Taliban with pen and books and I will keep that promise even at the cost of my life.

“Malala told the girls on a daily basis that ‘The Taliban are the enemy of humanity and Islam.’ We should stand up against them to thwart their efforts aiming to bar women from schools,” Saeeda said, adding Malala’s approach kept up the courage of all 500 girls at the school.

Saeeda said though her parents advised her to stay home during the Taliban’s rule, she had promised Malala she would never miss school. “All the people must pray for Malala,” she said. “She is the beacon of hope for millions of girls.”

Parents equally determined

Fathers of Malala’s schoolmates were determined not to let the Taliban chase their daughters from the schools.

“[Shazia] is extremely concerned about education and has been asking different questions,” said her father Muhammad Ramzan. “But I prevailed upon her that everything will be right and they would be in school again.”

Ramzan said he worried over Malala’s condition as if she were his own daughter. “I am a proud father because my daughter has proved that she is not afraid of anyone,” he said.

Jamil Shah, Saeeda’s father, said he would stand by his daughter “through thick and thin” and would spare no effort to ensure that she gets an education

 

Malala and the death of female education in the Swat Valley #Mustwatch


This excellent 32-minute documentary captures some of the reality of the situation that Malala Fousafzai has faced in the Swat Valley, Pakisatan. The video shows Malala and her school master father as they deal with the threat and reality of violence from Taliban forces, and the closure of their school.  I believe that this video is a must-see.

The video is entitled Class Dismissed: The Death of Female Education in the Swat Valley.   The documentary was made in 2009 when Malala was just 11 and 12 years old but, with recent events, it seems even more relevant today.  The documentary was produced and narrated by Adam Ellick.

Warning: Some of the video show acts of violence, executions, beatings and dead bodies.

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