By: Faiz Al-Najdi
Friday the 10th of October must have been the happiest day in Malala Yousafzai’s life as on this day, at a tender age of 17 years only, she became the youngest person to have been awarded with the prestigious & coveted Nobel Peace prize for the year 2014. She thus became the second Pakistani to have won this honor – after the decorated Pakistani Dr. Abdus Salam had won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979.
Pakistanis were obviously joyous at this as they stand starved with anything good news about or from Pakistan. News of killing, bomb blast, political strife and street crimes are common place and they are obviously not at all happy at this.
Pakistani expatriate guest workers in Saudi Arabia also received this news with great satisfaction and joy.
Saudi Gazette interviewed a large number of men and women from among various segment of the Pakistani community in Riyadh, Dammam/Al-Khobar and Jeddah. Interestingly most men were extremely delighted at this happy news while on the other hand most women folks were found to be surprisingly skeptical. It appeared that most women were sort of influenced by the conspiracy theories taking rounds these days that are being spread on purpose by the sympathizers of Taliban.
Aisha Khanam – a telecom engineer and a writer in Riyadh said it was too premature for Malala to have been awarded this prestigious prize. “Mother Teresa began her missionary work in 1948 and received Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, that is 31 years after”, Aisha mentioned.
Ambreen Faiz – a writer from Riyadh – mentioned that it was a historic moment that a child has won such a great award which many could only dream about. “All Pakistanis should be proud of her”, Ambreen said.
Arif Mirza a businessman in Riyadh mentioned that Malala was an amazing girl. “She has made all of us proud and has achieved so much at such a young age. May God bless her and protect her from all evil forces”, Mirza added.
Asma Tariq – a noted artist in Riyadh – was visibly pleased at this news. “In my opinion 17-year old Malala was a well-deserved candidate. She is a symbol of resistance, education campaigner, a writer who addressed United Nations, who questioned Obama about drone attacks in Pakistan, who begins her speech with Bismillah in front of non-Muslims, and above all she is promoting positive face of Pakistan”, Asma opined. Asma has also painted Malala’s portrait after she was shot by a Taliban three years ago and named that painting “I am not just Malala.”
Noted physician-cum-social worker couple in Riyadh – Dr. Mansour Memon and Dr. Erum Qalbani – was quite upbeat at this news. “Malala has embarked upon a very inspirational and visionary journey. She promotes the ideology of let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Her defiance against Taliban almost cost her life in 2012”, the couple commented.
Dr. Nida Syed from Dammam expressed her skepticism over this award. “In my opinion Malala was not eligible for this award. In Pakistan far better and good personalities were more deserving & eligible like Abdul Sattar Edhi, Ramzan Chippa, Dr. Adeeb Rizvi, etc.”, Dr. Nida added.
Engr. Pervez Naushahi – a Ground Engineering Manager in Al-Khobar also expressed his satisfaction at this award for Malala. “Malala put her entire family’s life in danger to support the cause of child education, particularly for girls & women at large”. Pervez said.
Engr. Syed Ehsanul Haq – Convener of PRC in Jeddah – commented that wining Nobel Prize for peace was a great honor for Pakistan. “Malala remains a pride of our country”, Ehsan mentioned.
Engr. Khalid Akram Rana from Riyadh mentioned that Malala, a teenager girl from Swat valley of Pakistan, is pride of Pakistan who is a symbol of hope, resistance, struggle, and bravery. “Her struggle for girl’s education is commendable”, Rana said.
Engr. Perwez Alam from Al-Khobar commented that Abdul Sattar Edhi was more deserving for this award.
Engr. Rashid Butt from Riyadh – expressed his joy at this news. “It’s indeed a great achievement of Malala to have won Nobel Peace prize at such a young age. The way she has portrayed positive image of Pakistan on international stage is appreciable”, Butt added.
Engr. Shafiq Maitla from Riyadh commented that Malala was a pride of Pakistan and that the whole nation was happy and proud at her achievement.
Engr. Syed Khawaja Nehaluddin – a writer/poet in Riyadh said Malala has brought great respect and honor for Pakistan at a time when it was badly needed. “The entire nation should be proud of her”, Nehal added.
Fayaz Ali Khan said that he was very glad that Malala became the youngest person ever to have received Nobel prize. “I admire her courage when she defied and stood up against Talibans in Swat”, Fayaz added.
Ishrat Salim – a Marketing professional in Jeddah mentioned that she deserved this award as she stood on her conviction and pursued her dream to get education at any cost.
Mohammad Khalid Rana – a Geomatics professional in Riyadh – expressed his joy and commented that this was a well-deserved award. “Critics may say anything and the conspiracy theorists would like to belittle her achievement but a person like Malala is born only in centuries”, Rana Khalid added.
Qudsia Nadeem Lali – a noted writer/poet in Al-Khobar showed her skepticism. “Personally I don’t think Malala is a deserving winner of the Nobel Peace Prize”, Lali said. According to Lali Abdul Sattar Edhi would have been a better choice.
Rubab Anila Faiz – a BBA graduate and a freelance writer in Riyadh – expressed her joy and mentioned that it was wonderful for Malala to have won this award. “She has already got the world’s attention and respect. It is time these were given to her by her own people, particularly her government”, Rubab added.
Syed Naqi Haider Rizvi – a visibly impaired young man – who himself was able to accomplish his engineering degree despite his disability was very happy for Malala. ”I was very happy to see Malala and Kailash share the Nobel prize..
Waseem Sajid – a young banker in Riyadh – mentioned that Malala was a star of Pakistan. “Malala deserved this award and it was a great honor for Pakistan and for the entire Muslim world”, Waseem mentioned.