Malala Yousafzai is as extraordinary as the Taliban thugs who still seek to kill her are abominable. The 16-year-old Pakistani girl is inspirational. Just a teenager, she already has made a difference.
Malala was the sentimental favorite to win the Nobel Peace Prize. But the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday conferred that honor on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which for 16 years has been on the ground working to get governments and other groups to get rid of their chemical weapons stockpiles. The group had investigators in Syria when chemical weapons were deployed on Aug. 21, and their expertise enabled the world community to quickly assess what had happened, and ascertain that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad had launched the attack.
Malala's bravery and public profile have captivated the world. But it is important also to acknowledge the work of a group that operates mostly in anonymity to pressure regimes not to use weapons of mass destruction. That too is bravery. You won't find me second-guessing the committee's decision.
As for Malala, let us hope her best days are still to come. She suggested as much in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
An excerpt from the interview now on CNN.com:
"I would feel proud, when I would work for education, when I would have done something, when I would be feeling confident to tell people, 'Yes! I have built that school; I have done that teachers' training, I have sent that (many) children to school.' Then if I get the Nobel Peace Prize, I will be saying, 'Yeah, I deserve it, somehow.'"
An audience laughed when Malala said that, CNN reported. Obviously, she is deserving of the many honors she already has received. It seems humility is among her many strengths of character.
Contact Barbara Shelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.