Narrator: Malala Yousafzai, is a courageous girl who fought for girls’ education, but shot in the head by the Taliban to end her campaign. Even after this tragic incident she continued to fight for what she believed in. She faced adversity with all her might and emerged victorious.
Scene 1: A day at home in the life of Malala before she was shot by the militants
Curtain to remain closed.
Malala: Not many girls in Pakistan go to school, though I was one of the fortunate ones who did. I never fancied getting up early in the morning, but then I had to go to school.
Father: Time to get up, Jani mun!
Malala: A few more minutes, Aba, please!
Mother: Pisho! Get up Malala you are late for school!
Malala: I was initially hesitant on how to write a diary. Every week I would talk to my father’s friend – Abdul Hai Kakar – who was also a BBC correspondent. He would ask me questions about my day, my dreams and my feelings. I wrote under the name of Gul Makai, so my identity would not be revealed, as it was dangerous to do so otherwise.
Malala and her family sitting next to the radio listening to the news.
News channel: We should only follow Islam. Women should not be allowed to go outside the house without a male member of the family. Women should wear burqas. Girls should not go to school. Schools for girls should be banned.
Malala: Aba, are we ever going to close Kushal School?
Father: Never ever Jani mun! Education is everyone’s right. It is wrong not to let girls be educated.
Narrator: Ziauddin, Malala’s father’s friend Abdul Hai Kakar was a BBC correspondent. He wanted a female teacher or a girl to write a diary about life under the Taliban. Malala decided to write the diary.
Phone rings. Father picks up phone.
Hai Kakar: Hello Ziauddin! It’s been a long time since we last talked, hasn’t it?
Father: Yes, indeed it has!
Hai kakar: How is your school doing these days?
Father: Its doing much better than before. We have five new admissions this month. It is great progress. I won’t take more of your time. I’ll call Malala. Just a moment.
Malala: Coming Aba!
Hai kakar: Malala! How are you today dear?
Malala: I’m okay…. I had a terrible dream…. It was filled with military helicopters and the Taliban. I was so scared! I keep having such awful dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. Another strange thing happened on my way home from school. I heard a man say, “I will kill you!” I was so frightened. In panic I quickened my pace. After I was some distance away from him, to my relief, I realised he was talking on the phone.
Scene 2: Malala gets shot while traveling to school
Narrator: Taliban power begins to grow in Pakistan. Fazullah begins to instigate people to only follow him and not the western world. He condemned the practices of the western worlds.
Narrator: One Tuesday, 9th October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price. Shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, she was not expected to survive.
Malala is traveling back home from school in the bus with her friends.(14 girls and 3 teachers)
Shazia: Moniba, the curry your Ami made today was delicious!
Malala: Yes it was! The best I’ve ever had!
Moniba: Thank you!
(Other girls talking to themselves, some laughing, playing games)
Moniba: Oh God! I hate when there is traffic and the bus keeps stopping.
Malala: Moniba, don’t make such a big fuss. We will be home in no time.
Narrator: The naïve girls did not know of the lurking danger outside. Little did they know that two men sent by the Taliban were standing outside the bus.
Men stand in front of the bus forcing bhai jan to stop the bus. Enter the bus. Men have big guns.
Man 1: Who is Malala?
Usman Bhai Jan (bus driver): I cannot tell you such information. It is against the policies of the school.
Man 2: Stop this nonsense of yours! Tell us who is Malala!
Everyone keeps quiet. Children terrified. Even teachers were scared. Some children (3) look towards Malala. Gunman sees.
Men get irritated. One of them firs at random. Gun shot sound.
Girls get shot. Shout in pain and fright. Malala falls forward.
Narrator: Three girls had to pay the price of Taliban’s brutality. Malala, Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan. The three of them were shot by the men sent by the Taliban forces to supress the young youth Malala-the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban.
Narrator: One bullet hit the left side of Malala’s forehead, traveled under her skin the length of her face and then into her shoulder, Shazia was shot in the collar bone and her left hand and kainat was grazed by a bullet on top of her right arm.
Malala: Usman Bhai Jan realised what had happened and drove the dyna- the bus, to Swat Central Hospital. I was terrified at that time. It was like hell had come upon us.
Narrator: Meanwhile Malala’s father was at a meeting of the Association of Private schools. He was informed by his friend that a school bus of his school had been shot. Malala’s father was terrified because it occurred to him that Malala might be on that bus. He quickly finished his speech with beads of sweat running down his forehead and then rushed to Malala. Malala’s mother was at home praying with the other neighbours and relatives for the safety of Malala.
Father rushes in hospital. Lots of cameramen, tv reporters outside Malala’s room. Two doctors by her bedside.
Father: My daughter, my brave daughter, my beautiful daughter.
Doctor 1: The bullet did not enter the brain so it is less dangerous than we thought it was. For further treatment she will be shifted to a hospital in Peshwar.
Narrator: When Malala arrives at Peshwar Dr. Fiona and Dr. Javid take care of her treatments. When no more could be done in Pakistan, she was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in The United Kingdom.
Scene 3: Malala in UK hospital… starts to interact with international community
Malala with bandage, her nurse in the room.
Malala: I woke up on 16th October, a week after the shooting. I woke up on the way back from a CT scan being taken back to the critical care room. I was a thousand miles away from home in this strange place I had never been to. I had a tube in my mouth to help me breathe and I was unable t speak. I flitted between consciousness and sleep until I finally woke up. I was so overjoyed that Allah had blessed me with a second life!
In the room
Rehanna: Asalaamu alaikam. My name is Rehanna and I am the Muslim chaplin.
Starts praying. Quran plays now.
Rehanna mouths the words of the Quran while it is playing in the background.
Close curtain. Open curtain
Intensive care room in QEH. Green lights.2-3 Nurses. Dr. Javid.
Narrator: Malala was in the intensive care cubical in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The nurses and Dr.Javid were present in the room with her.
Nurse 1: Malala, you will not be able to speak for a while.(hands over notepad and pencil). Use the notepad and pencil to write down your thoughts and questions.
Malala- takes pencil and tries to write on the notepad. Unable to write.
Malala: I wanted to write down by fathers phone number but I could not space letters. My left ear kept bleeding and my left hand felt funny. I could also feel that the left side of my face was not working properly.
Dr Javid: Get a letter board.
Nurse 2 gets the board and holds it in front of Malala.
Nurse 2(reads out while she points): Why have I no father?
Nurse 2: He is in Pakistan. Don’t worry your father and your family is safe.
Dr Javid: Let her rest for a while. Monitor her heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level.
Malala left for a while. Dr. Fiona comes in. Hands over a teddy bear.
Dr. Fiona: ( While checking Malala) This was one of the gifts you got. There are bags more, filled with cards and teddies and toys! Your parent will be coming in tomorrow. They will be here by noon.
Malala: The few days I spent without my parents and my brother felt more like a hundred days. It was boring and I wasn’t sleeping well. The changing time on the clock reassured me I was still alive. I saw for the first time I waking early, which is not one of my habits.
Scene 4: Malala gets international recognition
Duration: 10min + 5min TED video
Narrator: Malala realised that what the Taliban had done was to only make her campaign global. Their mission of silencing her and her mission for girls’ rights and their education had become a way her struggles were noticed world-wide by everyone around the world. She has told us that nothing can stop her from her mission not even a bullet in her head
Narrator: Today, because of Malala’s efforts, young people around the world have united and in 100s of countries and are working for education for children, convinced that geography, gender, disability and language should not be seen as impediments in achieving global literacy.
Narrator: Malala’s bravery has inspired millions of people around the world. I hope this vibe of positivity has made its way towards you as well!
Narrator: Malala has taught the world about forgiveness and that there is no age limit to stand up for justice. She wrote in her book that even after what the Taliban did to her she did want to seek revenge, she only wanted to return to her home- Swat Valley.
Narrator: Malala has been nominated International Children’s Peace Prize and The Nobel Peace Prize. She has been given the National Malala Peace Prize, The Shakharov Prize and now has also received the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.
Play ‘Ode to Malala’ and slide show of snippets from Malala’s life.
*Note: the dialogues of Malala which are italicized and are in bold are[spoken by present day Malala, others are by younger Malala. She is recounting her experience.
© Asavari Singh
Play can be used for educational purposes and performed to honor of Malala Yousafzai and her constant struggle for education of girls.