Blogs, Quinlan vs the World

Malala Yousafzai still amazes without Nobel Prize

I had intended to write a column about the positive effect of Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani blogger-turned-education activist who is recovering from a gunshot to the head and charming hearts all over the world.

Truly, Yousafzai is one of the more inspiring people I have heard of alive on this planet, and it is through people like her that I am personally inspired to seek change in my own environment. If you haven’t yet seen the viral video, check out her incredible interview with Jon Stewart that leaves the poor man speechless in awe.

Her high-profile tour of Western media outlets coincided with the announcement of the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, for which she was nominated and widely expected to win. She is an incredible advocate for peace, even bringing up the issue of drone strikes with 2009 winner lol Barack Obama.

Of course (and unfortunately for my column), Yousafzai did not win. Instead, the honor was granted to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its ongoing work to enforce the diplomatic agreement to remove chemical weapons from Syria after gas attacks killed more than 1,400 in the ongoing civil war.

I was originally disappointed. How could they snub Yousafzai? It was preposterous. Then, I actually thought about it and realized that it was the right choice, for a variety of reasons:

1. The OPCW is combatting one of the most egregious affronts to human rights seen in wartime in decades. That alone justifies the award.

2. As Princeton’s Zeynep Tufekci points out, the world is full of brave people like Yousafzai, and it is no discredit to her efforts to give the award to an influential nongovernmental institution, a much rarer sight in world politics.

3. The efforts of the OPCW are very much involved in the day-to-day advancement of peace, whereas Yousafzai’s efforts are more long-term ideas in a country with huge intractable problems. Consider the ridiculousness of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to winners like the European Union and Barack Obama to see why it makes no sense to ignore current insults to peace in favor of rhetorical solutions.

4. Yousafzai is still not even yet an adult. It appears that she will (rightfully) have a life before her of international fame and advocacy, and may rise to be the next great Aung San Suu Kyi or Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. I don’t doubt that she will one day win the Nobel Prize, but part of the reason she is so passionate about education is because she is still in school. I have worries about the negative, or worse, imperialistic effects of the bright-lights Western paparazzi to Yousafzai, even if she has been excellent in public life thus far.

5. Two groups of people who are upset about the Nobel Prize process are the Pakistani Taliban, and Syrian monster, chemical-gasser Bashir Al-Assad (who, absolutely incredulously, jokes he should have gotten the award). If you’d like to consider yourself among such company, go ahead and think Yousafzai should have won.

 

Links I’m reading:

Domestic Politics

(Longread) The evolving distance in the second term relationship between former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, focused through the non-pardon of Scooter Libby – Peter Baker in The New York Times

International Affairs

Vladimir Putin’s gamble to revitalize Russia’s national and international image by building up its military and seeking confrontation with the west – Nikolas Gvosdev in The National Interest

Economics and Public Policy

How the failures of government contracting and IT procedures led to the collapse of healthcare.gov, the signature tech interface for Obama, the Internet president – Alex Howard in Buzzfeed

South Florida

What Miami can and is doing to attract artists and a creative culture – Nathaniel Sandler in WLRN

On Campus

University of Miami students drink underage and sometimes get caught for it – Ashley Martinez in The Miami Hurricane

October 17, 2013

Reporters

Patrick Quinlan


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami athletic director Blake James has no intention of pressuring or forcing coach Ma ...

He’s certainly not a veteran, but for the first time in his college football career, redshirt freshm ...

This November feels a lot more like March for the 24th-ranked University of Miami women’s basketball ...

For a month at a time, Louis Hedley would find himself in the deserts of Australia. His chances at m ...

It has been a trying season for college football fans of two Sunshine State programs: Florida State ...

UM Professor of Law Frances R. Hill tells us what we should know. ...

An international study led by University of Miami tropical biologists reveals that tropical trees ar ...

UM’s robotics team recently obtained a new robot with the goal of helping aging individuals. ...

New student organization’s mission is a movement to return to the ‘roots’ of natural hair. ...

A University of Miami professor discusses the dynamics of this trend. ...

N'Kosi Perry wants to build off his showing at Georgia Tech with another strong performance thi ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara is excited to announce the s ...

Isaiah Wong and Anthony Walker will join Canes for 2019-20 season. ...

Three University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes – Adria Soriano Barrera, Bojan Jankulov ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team checks in at seventh in the country in ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.