Home / Global Connections Update / Discussion-Worthy Quotes from Malala Yousafzai


Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai may only be a teenager, but her words show that she is wise beyond her years. Malala is devoted to helping children around the world protect their right to an education. Many of her quotes provide teachers with an opportunity to discuss the universal ideas of peace and learning with their students. Below is a selection of Malala quotes and corresponding discussion questions.

1. “I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds, but our hearts and our souls.”

Discussion Questions: What do you think is meant by “educating our hearts and souls”? How is this different from traditional education? What is an example of how you feel your school could work to educate the hearts and souls of its students?

2. “I think that the best way to solve problems and to fight is through dialogue, is through peaceful ways, but for me the best way to fight against terrorism and extremism is just simple thing: educate the next generation.”

Discussion Questions: In what way(s) might education be more effective to ending terrorism and extremism than military action? What content do you think would need to be taught in order to end violent extremism?

3. “‘Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

Discussion Question: In what way(s) can books and pens serve as powerful weapons?

4. “We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”

Discussion Questions: Malala advocates for the educational rights of girls and women. What concerns and challenges arise in society when women are denied the right to education? What positive changes will occur for all of society once more women are granted access to education? Can you think of other examples of rights denied to certain populations that in turn negatively impact the society as a whole?

5. “I don’t want to be thought of as the ‘girl who was shot by the Taliban,’ but the ‘girl who fought for education.’”

Discussion Questions: What aspects of Malala and her story do you find to be most memorable? What would you like to be remembered for?

6. “I don’t want revenge on the Taliban; I want education for sons and daughters of the Taliban.”

Discussion Questions: Why might someone want to help the children of her enemy? Why do you think Malala would feel this way, even after the horrible treatment she received at the hands of the Taliban?

7. “I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.”

Discussion Questions: For whom do you feel Malala speaks most loudly? Who are other voiceless people in the world that you think could use a strong advocate such as Malala? What would it take to provide a voice for these voiceless people?