December 9, 2013

Int’l Human Rights Day


Tom: Well, today is International Human Rights Day, which was created by the United Nations in 1950. It is a day to recognize people who are creating an impact in their communities and protecting human rights. Maggie Rulli has the story about one girl who you may be familiar with, but chances are, you have not heard about her friends.

Maggie: Malala Yousafzai, a 16 year old from Pakistan, won Europe’s top human rights award. Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban last year because she was speaking out for girls’ rights. But Malala wasn’t the only one injured in that attack. Two of her classmates were also wounded. And like Malala, they are now fighting for education equality.

Studying in the library, having lunch in the cafeteria. It might seem like any other school. But for Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz, Atlantic College isn’t just a school, it is also their shelter from Taliban bullets, something both girls know all too well.

This was Kainat a year ago in Pakistan, recovering from a gunshot wound in her shoulder. Both she and Shazia were riding next to Malala in the school bus when they were attacked. After the violence, the girls no longer felt safe going to their school in the remote and conservative Swat Valley, and they had to leave behind their education. But now, thanks to British scholarships, the two young girls are currently in the 11th grade at Atlantic College in the UK. The international school was originally built as a 12th century castle, and it almost seems like it is a world away from their former lives.

Kainat’s shoulder wounds have healed.

Kainat Riaz: Yeah, why not?

Maggie: But their other wounds still remain.

Shazia Ramzan: I have little bit dreams, like somebody’s coming and shoot me – not shoot me, shoot my friend.

Maggie: Atlantic College has meant a new start and some big adjustments: unfamiliar food and meeting classmates from around the world, including what would have been unthinkable in Pakistan – boys! But the girls are loving it. Both Shazia and Kainat want to study medicine and both are committed to helping other girls in Pakistan…

Shazia: Yeah, I feel this is my responsibility.

Maggie: …So that someday, girls like them will be able to get an education right at home.

Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.

Tom: Tomorrow you will hear about another civil rights icon, the former South African president Nelson Mandela. Shelby Holliday is going to wrap up his first official memorial.


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