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Tarek Fatah

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For Malala: The Girl who Brought Canada Together

Posted: 11/22/2012 5:39 pm

We did it! After tens of thousands of Canadians and even more people from around the world signed my petition on Change.org, we got every single party leader to get behind the campaign to unanimously nominate Malala Yousufzai for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

Sitting at my breakfast table on Sunday, October 12, when I started the online petition I had hoped for a few hundred signatures and maybe find one or two politicians to nominate Malala. I had never imagined that not one, but all of our federal parties and leaders, including the Prime Minister, who hardly ever agree on anything, would end up supporting the campaign to support a girl halfway around the world.

Here is what they had to say:

"Laureen and I are pleased to support Malala Yousufzai, a determined young woman who has done so much to promote education and women's rights in her native Pakistan. All Canadians salute her courage and tenacity and wish her well in her recovery." - Prime Minister Stephen Harper

"Sixty-four years ago the international community signed onto the Universal Declaration of Human Rights...Sixy-four years later, women are still not equal. Acknowledging Malala would reaffirm the world community's commitment to women's empowerment and equality for all persons."
- NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair / quote from NDP nomination letter by MP Paul Dewar)

"Around the world, from country to country, we are seeing the emergence of a growing movement in support of Malala...(She) is an inspiration to us all."
- Liberal Party Leader Bob Rae

"I am so inspired by her bravery and idealism. We must all re-commit to ensure the rights of all women and girls."
- Green Party Leader Elizabeth May

"Tens of thousands of Canadians, Quebeckers and people from other countries have signed this petition. Malala's courage and tenacity have inspired people around the world and awarding her the Nobel Peace Prize would take us one step closer towards a more peaceful and just society."
- Bloc Quebecois Leader Daniel Paillé

Guess what else we did?

We started a global phenomenon. Canadians have inspired people from all around the world to start "Nobel for Malala" campaigns in their own countries. Petition pages have gone up in the U.K., Pakistan, France, India, Italy, Germany, Ireland, and more are on the way.

The counter on all of the pages reflects the cumulative efforts of these petitions from around the world. Over 160,000 people have signed the petition!

As it says in the petition, getting Malala nominated was only the first step. We still need to get as many signatures as possible to:

  1. Encourage political leaders in all of the other countries to support the campaign.
  2. Show the Nobel Foundation how important it is for them to select Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize.

For these reasons we hope that you will ask your friends and family to keep signing. Click here to share the petition on Facebook.

Together, we've accomplished something very special and I know that by continuing to work with girls' education supporters around the world we can get Malala the Nobel Peace Prize. Moreover, we will send this message to the Taliban who tried to assassinate her: you cannot bully and terrorize little girls and get away with it. The whole world is watching.

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  • Malala family visit

    Ziauddin Yousufzai accompanied by his 12 year old son Khushal (left) talks to the media after visiting his daughter Malala at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham today.

  • Malala family visit

    Ziauddin Yousufzai talks to the media after visiting his daughter Malala at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham today.

  • Malala family visit

    Ziauddin Yousufzai accompanied by his 12 year old son Khushal (left) talks to the media after visiting his daughter Malala at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham today.

  • Malala family visit

    Ziauddin Yousufzai (left) talks with Dr David Rosser, Medical Director after visiting his daughter Malala at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham today.

  • Malala family visit

    Ziauddin Yousufzai accompanied by his 12 year old son Khushal with Medical Director Dr David Rosser talks to the media after visiting his daughter Malala at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham today.

  • Malala family visit

    Ziauddin Yousufzai talks to the media after visiting his daughter Malala at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham today.

  • Malala family visit

    Ziauddin Yousufzai accompanied by his 12 year old son Khushal (left) talks to the media after visiting his daughter Malala at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham today.

  • Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan, in her hospital bed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

    Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan, in her hospital bed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

  • Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan, in her hospital bed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

    Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan, in her hospital bed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Security patrol the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, where Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan is being treated.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Dr Dave Rosser, Medical Director, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, speaks to the media during a briefing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, to update on the condition of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Dr Dave Rosser, Medical Director, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, speaks to the media during a briefing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, to update on the condition of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Dr Dave Rosser, Medical Director, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, speaks to the media during a briefing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, to update on the condition of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Dr Dave Rosser, Medical Director, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, speaks to the media during a briefing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, to update on the condition of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Campaigners gather for a vigil for 14 year old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, in Birmingham's Victoria Square today.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Campaigners including 9 month old Mnaha Zoya gather for a vigil for 14 year old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, in Birmingham's Victoria Square today.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Campaigners gather for a vigil for 14 year old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, in Birmingham's Victoria Square today.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Campaigners gather for a vigil for 14 year old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, in Birmingham's Victoria Square today.

  • An ambulance believed carrying 14-year-old Malala Yusufza who was attacked by the Taliban for advocating women s education rights as arriving to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment on her injuries in Birmingham central England 15 October 2012. Reports state that she was travelling from Islamabad with her parents and medical staff after being shot in the head and neck in a Taliban attack. The British government confirmed that Malala will be cared for at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham which has a specialist trauma unit and is a key centre for treating soldiers injured in conflict. EPA/ANDREW FOX

  • A police officer stands guard at the entrance of Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where 14-year-old Malala Yusufza who was attacked by the Taliban for advocating women s education rights arrived for treatment on her injuries in Birmingham central England 15 October 2012. Reports state that she was travelling from Islamabad with her parents and medical staff after being shot in the head and neck in a Taliban attack. The British government confirmed that Malala will be cared for at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham which has a specialist trauma unit and is a key centre for treating soldiers injured in conflict. EPA/ANDREW FOX

  • An ambulance believed carrying 14-year-old Malala Yusufza who was attacked by the Taliban for advocating women s education rights arrive with police escort to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment on her injuries in Birmingham central England 15 October 2012. Reports state that she was travelling from Islamabad with her parents and medical staff after being shot in the head and neck in a Taliban attack. The British government confirmed that Malala will be cared for at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham which has a specialist trauma unit and is a key centre for treating soldiers injured in conflict. EPA/ANDREW FOX

  • An undated handout photograph released by University Hospitals Birmingham on 15 October 2012 showing Dave Rosser Executive Medical Director at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Reports state on 15 October 2012 that Dave Rosser medical director at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital said that Malala Yusufzai The Pakistani schoolgirl shot by Taliban gunmen has a chance of making a good recovery. Malala Yusufza who was attacked by the Taliban for advocating women s education rights was flown from Islamabad with her parents and medical staff to be cared for at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham which has a specialist trauma unit and is a key centre for treating soldiers injured in conflict EPA

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    The plane containing Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    The plane containing Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    The plane containing Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • Shot schoolgirl treated in the UK

    Malala Yousafzai, 14, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen arrives in the UK at Birmingham Airport.

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against the assassination attempt on child activist Malala Yousafzai, in Lahore on October 11, 2012. The Pakistani child activist that shot in the head by the Taliban was airlifted to the country's top military hospital for specialist treatment, is still in a critical condition, officials said. The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai on a school bus in the Swat valley has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities, who have offered a reward of more than USD 100,000 for the capture of her attackers. AFP PHOTO / Arif Ali

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    A Pakistani veiled activist of an Islamic Sunni Tehreek party carries a placard during a protest against the assassination attempt by Taliban on child activist Malala Yousafzai, in Islamabad on October 14, 2012. A Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban in retaliation for her campaign for the right to education, is making 'slow and steady progress' in her recovery, the military said. AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani leaders of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) sit under a photograph of child activist Malala Yousafzai during a protest procession against the assassination attempt by Taliban, in Karachi on October 14, 2012. A Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai shot in the head by the Taliban because she campaigned for the right to education is making 'slow and steady progress' in her recovery, the military said. AFP PHOTO / RIZWAN TABASSUM

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against the assassination attempt on child activist Malala Yousafzai, in Lahore on October 11, 2012. The Pakistani child activist that shot in the head by the Taliban was airlifted to the country's top military hospital for specialist treatment, is still in a critical condition, officials said. The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai on a school bus in the Swat valley has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities, who have offered a reward of more than USD 100,000 for the capture of her attackers. AFP PHOTO / Arif Ali

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani school girls pray for the early recovery of child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, at their school in Peshawar on October 12, 2012. Pakistanis at mosques across the country prayed Friday for the recovery of a schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban as doctors said the next two days were critical. AFP PHOTO / A. MAJEED

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani civil society activists and journalists carry candles and photographs of gunshot victim Malala Yousafzai during a protest against the assassination attempt on Malala Yousafzai, in Islamabad on October 11, 2012. The Pakistani child activist that shot in the head by the Taliban was airlifted to the country's top military hospital for specialist treatment, is still in a critical condition, officials said. The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai on a school bus in the Swat valley has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities, who have offered a reward of more than USD 100,000 for the capture of her attackers. AFP PHOTO / Aamir QURESHI

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani demonstrators carry photographs of gunshot victim and child activist Malala Yousafzai during a protest against her assassination attempt, in Karachi on October 11, 2012. The Pakistani child activist that shot in the head by the Taliban was airlifted to the country's top military hospital for specialist treatment, is still in a critical condition, officials said. The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai on a school bus in the Swat valley has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities, who have offered a reward of more than USD 100,000 for the capture of her attackers. AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN-SWAT

    Pakistani students pray for the early recovery of child activist Malala Yousafzai at a school in Mingora on October 11, 2012. The horrific attack on a Pakistani child rights activist, shot in the head by the Taliban in front of terrified schoolgirls, has raised fears that targeted attacks are on the rise in the Swat valley. Malala Yousafzai, 14, who won international recognition for a blog about the horrors of life under the Taliban and a campaign for the right to an education, is the highest-profile target of militants in Swat for more than three years. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMAD REHMAN

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf (L) briefs the media after visiting child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, in Rawalpindi on October 12, 2012. The next 36 to 48 hours will be critical for a Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, the military said on October 12, calling on the nation to pray for her recovery. AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf (C) arrives at a military hospital to visit child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, in Rawalpindi on October 12, 2012. The next 36 to 48 hours will be critical for a Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, the military said on October 12, calling on the nation to pray for her recovery. AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani Muslims pray for the early recovery of child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, during a Frdiay prayers in Karachi on October 12, 2012. Pakistanis at mosques across the country prayed Friday for the recovery of a schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban as doctors said the next two days were critical. AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    A Pakistani Muslim prays for the recovery of child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, during a Frdiay prayers in Karachi on October 12, 2012. Pakistanis at mosques across the country prayed Friday for the recovery of a schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban as doctors said the next two days were critical. AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani Muslims pray for the early recovery of child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, during a Frdiay prayers in Karachi on October 12, 2012. Pakistanis at mosques across the country prayed Friday for the recovery of a schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban as doctors said the next two days were critical. AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani school girls pray for the early recovery of child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, at their school in Peshawar on October 12, 2012. Pakistanis at mosques across the country prayed Friday for the recovery of a schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban as doctors said the next two days were critical. AFP PHOTO / A. MAJEED

  • PAKISTAN-UNREST-NORTHWEST-CHILDREN

    Pakistani hospital workers carry injured Malala Yousafzai, 14, on a stretcher at a hospital following an attack by gunmen in Mingora on October 9, 2012. A teenage Pakistani children's rights activist was shot in the head in an assassination attempt as she boarded a school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of Swat, officials said. AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/GettyImages)

 

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