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Malala tells CNN: World risks losing generation of Syrian children

February 18th, 2014
03:04 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The world risks losing a generation of Syrian children if it ignores their plight, Malala Yousafzai – the Pakistani girl who made a miraculous recovery after being shot in the head by the Taliban – told CNN on Tuesday.

“It’s a risk to all of us if we ignore them,” Malala, as she is known to her legions of followers, said.

“People should focus on their bright future, because their bright future means our bright future, and the future of the whole world.”

Malala visited on Tuesday travelled to the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan to meet with the young victims of Syria’s grinding war. She spoke from there with CNN’s Hala Gorani, filling in for Christiane Amanpour.

“So many children, they can’t go to school, they cannot get education,” Malala said, overlooking the refugee camp.

Shiza Shahid, CEO of The Malala Fund and a family friend of the Malala, chimed in.

“This is a huge crisis and a global responsibility,” Shahid said.

“The Malala Fund, with Malala and the team, is hoping to raise a voice of these children and urge the global community to invest in protecting, rehabilitating and educating each child, and through its own resources is also investing in Syrian-led programs to rehabilitate children.”

UNICEF says more than five million Syrian children are at risk as a result of the war, with over a million children refugees and more than 10,000 killed.

Before Malala was targeted for assassination because of her outspoken support for girls’ and children’s rights, she and family were themselves forced to leave their homes in Pakistan’s Swat Valley because of violence.

“I thought that I needed someone to speak for me. And the people of Swat needed someone to speak for them,” Malala said.

“Now, when I think of these children, I can feel what they would be feeling now and what they are suffering through, so that’s why I think that it’s a responsibility to protect these children.”

“We should not think that we are far away from this country and we are safe. We should not think like that.”

Filed under:  Latest Episode • Malala Yousafzai • Syria
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. elinsch

    Reblogged this on Elin Schiffer and commented:
    Malala, what can I say. You're inspring!

    February 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      Nobody r dare to say Islam is the problem..

      Islam is the ONLY religion until today with ISLAMIC Sharia law LEGALIZING...
      1. To kill apostasy.
      2. Pedophilia (60 yr old man can marry 9 years old girl).
      3. Woman r half value of man in court.
      Under ISLAMIC Shariah Law, e.g. Saudi, Pakistan, Afghan, Yemen, etc


      February 19, 2014 at 4:05 am | Reply
    • Dylan RJ

      Okay for anybody not in the know, Malala wants world leaders to not use violence against the extremists such as the Taliban. Innocent civilians die as a result of violence carried out by anybody, whether the U.S. is bombing (especially using drones) or the Taliban is bombing, people die. SHE DOESNT BELIEVE IN THE BARREL OF A GUN AS A MEANS TO SOLVE ANYTHING EVER. Mind all of you that she is 16/17, what have you been doing with your lives? How involved are you in the peace movement? Don't be lazy and have her take all the responsibility of seeking peace. She is calling you, all of us, to speak against violence and social injustices. She believes that peace and EDUCATION go hand in hand, that peace is necessary for education (kids can't go to school if it's being bombed). She says that education will LEAD TO PEACE. you might as well pity yourself if your'e going to critique her.....

      March 12, 2014 at 5:13 am | Reply
  2. JohnathanA

    I am always willing to help, but:
    Where is the Arab League?
    What are muslims doing to help themselves and each other?
    The muslim world has more riches than we could ever imagine and what do they do with all that wealth, they use it to continue the muslim sectarian war.

    February 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • tor

      not all Muslim are the same and not Arab are the same and not all west the same so don't make general words

      February 18, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Reply
      • JohnathanA

        You are correct, we in the West take our differences as a badge of honour.
        We in the West understand that a multi ethnic, multi religious, multi cultural society enriches us.
        muslims are apostates and dead if they try to do anything "differently".

        February 18, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
      • Dylan RJ

        I just want to say that JonathonA is a reeeeeeeeeeeeetard. I'm an American and I full out disagree with his ass

        March 12, 2014 at 5:22 am |
    • Benjamin

      They're busy in finding a reason for blaming Israel.

      February 18, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Reply
    • aaron

      What about the Arab league? You know these Arab dictators such as the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain are all servants of the Zionists. The Zionists want the war to continue until Assad is removed from power. The Zionists want regime change and nothing short of it. The war will go on and children will suffer because the Zionists will not allow their Rebels to accept a compromise deal that allows Assad to stay.

      February 19, 2014 at 6:40 am | Reply
      • dapper98

        assshole nazi liar

        February 20, 2014 at 9:17 am |
  3. Silverado

    These Syrians invited the Al Qaeda terrorists from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda rules the streets of Syria now. These kids will grow up to become terrorists themselves. Let a generation of these terrorists be wiped out. So, everybody wins except the Muslim terrorists. Why is that being called a loss?

    February 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Reply
    • Sandra

      Syria's Assad is boosting al-Qaeda with secret oil deals and there is confirmed reports that Bashar al-Assad collaborating with jihadists to persuade West the uprising is terrorist-led

      February 18, 2014 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  4. Noorkador

    Thanks,may ALLAH bless You!

    February 18, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  5. DLV

    This is simple. When a few prosperous nations decide to end the suffering of the world's refugees it will be done. Were it an oil or energy issue at stake it would be past tense.

    I said it was simple. I didn't say it was easy.

    February 18, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  6. hrc77

    The pro Alqaeda media CNN caught again with what they do best. .Fabricating news .. and in what way..They went as Far and use Photoshop to sell a story to the american public about Syria . Please make viral the whole world needs to know
    How desperate is the white house and western main stream media that now they become a comedy . This surpass BBC by far with the story against Assad "genocide against civilians that asking freedom" using a photo of civilians killed in IRAQ by the U.S invasion.. LOL


    h t t p : / / syrianfreepress.wordpress . com /2014/02/18/cnn-fake-journalism-hala-gorani-cnn-news-anchor-falsifies-photos-and-news-for-feeding-the-humanitarian-war-propaganda/

    February 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • hrc77

      This was reported By CNN -Hala Gorani ,CNN journalist ,check her tweater page.. everyone grab the page.. save it before is deleted..

      removethe2spacesfrom link

      h t t p s : / / twitter . com / HalaGorani/status/435427156244439040/photo/1

      THis is how wars and conflicts are sold to the american public through manipulation and fabrications all the way to using disgusting.

      February 18, 2014 at 9:07 pm | Reply
      • 1457

        Be aware hrc77! Don't be so fascinated with what photoshop can do. The sufferings of the Syrian children is for REAL.

        February 18, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
    • Abdullah

      Stop deceiving yourself and the readers; Syria's Assad is boosting al-Qaeda with secret oil deals and there is confirmed reports that Bashar al-Assad collaborating with jihadists to persuade West the uprising is terrorist-led.

      February 18, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  7. Abdullah

    Thank you Mallalah; you have done something the world failed to do.

    February 18, 2014 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  8. angela kolios

    This girl should be worried about her own country and not go off on political crusades. Someone is pulling her strings.

    February 18, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Reply
    • James

      Spot on!

      February 19, 2014 at 3:05 am | Reply
    • wasso

      Trouble is she is a marked person in her own country and can't return..

      February 19, 2014 at 6:39 am | Reply
  9. Sandra Sanchez

    The Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly funded and worked with al-Qaeda-linked fighters in the country in a bid to counter moderate rebel forces and tarnish the uprising's image, The aim of the double game played by Assad was to convince Western countries that the Syrian uprising was sponsored by "Islamist militants" in order to hinder international support for it.

    February 18, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Reply
  10. Trần Chí Thanh

    Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran-Iraq-Saudi Arabia- Egypt-Libya

    Mọi xung đột đều có mùi Dầu

    Giải pháp cho Iran trước > Syria

    February 19, 2014 at 2:38 am | Reply
  11. Charles Maduka

    She visited the camp in Jordan and met Hala Gorani who faked a picture of a child discovered alone in the desert. The child was just 20 yards behind his parents. Dont use this girl for propaganda by taking her around refugee camps in a war where the rebels are being armed by America.

    February 19, 2014 at 4:25 am | Reply
    • Siroos

      150.000 dead is a lie, millions fled also a lie, half the country destroyed even a bigger lie, its all lies and western propaganda

      February 19, 2014 at 5:36 am | Reply
      • dapper98

        and you are terror propaganda

        February 20, 2014 at 9:18 am |
      • Wahib

        Propaganda? dude, you have no idea what you're talking about!

        February 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  12. safvanmalik

    Wait, why isn't she going to school?

    Typical teenager finding ways to skip the maths class.

    That is one hall pass to have.

    February 19, 2014 at 5:11 am | Reply
  13. Paul

    When you are hopeless and sad, I'II give you an advice: "Listen to Malala"

    February 19, 2014 at 5:58 am | Reply
  14. Owain

    Ave Malala, Gracia Pleeenaaa !!!

    February 19, 2014 at 6:21 am | Reply
  15. aaron

    Malala is just as useless as the Pope praying for world peace. We all know who is behind the problem in Syria – Israel. Israel wants regime change in Syria and will make sure the war continues until it meets its goal of regime change. Saudi Arabia (with American and Israeli approval) has promised shoulder held surface to air missiles to the rebels to shoot down government helicopters which will in turn anger the Syrian government who will respond with bigger and more destructive bombs causing greater carnage.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:32 am | Reply
  16. aaron

    If Malala genuinely cares about the Syrian children, she should go to London to the Syrian Rebel office and ask the Syrian Rebels to lay down their arms and she should encourage the Rebels to seek "freedom and democracy" through peaceful means and not through the barrel of a gun.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:46 am | Reply
  17. dapper98

    who cares, boycotting Jews is so much more important

    February 20, 2014 at 6:38 am | Reply
  18. Kristen

    Malala is definitely a heroine. She has accomplished many things which are difficult and requires a lot of works and courage. We shouldn't ignore Syrian children because they need our help, they need us to help them get through this bloody civil war. Malala, thank you for doing these things to make our world become a better place.

    February 22, 2014 at 8:20 am | Reply
  19. Di Wang

    God has made atonement for sins of mankind.

    October 15, 2014 at 7:18 am | Reply

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