International Educator - May/June 2015 - 25

VOICES

IE: How did you hear about Malala's

struggle to stay in school?
SHAHID: The New York Times did a short

documentary when she was 11. Essentially
no one had been talking about what was going on in Swat and this journalist managed
to get Malala and her dad to agree to be interviewed. They were very brave. I was taken
aback. This hit home. I remembered writing
in my college essays how, if I could just get
an education, I'd pass it on to other girls in
my community. But nobody was writing or
talking about what was happening in Swat
except this little schoolgirl.
I called up her father. He was very happy
that I called. Mostly when people see stuff
on the news, they don't act. I asked what I
could do. At this point, I have incredible networks and resources. I was in [former U.S.
Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice's first
class after she left office. I thought if I was in
Swat, what could I have done to change the
situation? If I could [share those resources]
and pass all of that on to Malala and these
other incredible girls in her city, how much
more effective could their voices be? He said
it was too dangerous to do anything in Swat
right now. I said, "Okay. What if we organize
a summer camp in Islamabad?"
I went back to Pakistan over spring break
and invited the family to stay with us in Islamabad then. I got to know them. I started
talking with the adults whom I had always
looked up to and told them, "I want to do this
summer camp and bring these girls here."
There were a lot of concerns about security.
A lot of people said, "Don't do it." I started
to think about smart ways to do it and what
I wanted these girls to learn. They had been
through a lot. First, let's do things that are

24  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .15

fun and give them a break. Next,
let's give them the tools and ideas
they need to continue to speak
up in ways that are safe. The third
and most important part to me
was how do we tell their stories
to people of influence to get them
to act-the military, journalists,
thought leaders? We invited them
to the closing event where each
girl came forward and told her
story. By the end there wasn't a dry
eye in the audience.
IE: How did you learn of the

assassination attempt on
Malala?
SHAHID: I had just landed in
Egypt and a friend texted me.
It took the wind out of me. My
mother drove to the hospital and
spent the next couple of days there.
The government cordons off the
hospital, but my mother's inside.
I feel like I'm in Grey's Anatomy,
getting firsthand information on Shiza Shahid with girls' education activist Malala Yousafzai.
her medical condition and sending it across to the McKinsey health care leave to help Malala, and eventually I left to
practice: "Here's what's happening. Do you build up the movement.
There was a lot of excitement around
think this is right?" Gabby Giffords's surgeon
wants to fly in and people are calling me up. Malala's story, but I knew that excitement
I had nothing to do with the actual medical was not going to last. To do meaningful
recovery; the doctors were great. But I'm work this needs to move from the story of
passing information back and forth, doing a victim to a story of hope and leadership.
We needed a platform that takes the story
my part to make sure things were in order.
Then she's airlifted to Birmingham and and creates impact. I tell the family this and
we think her parents have gone with her, but they say, "This sounds great. We want you
it turns out they were actually taken to a safe to set it up."
Our strategy was two-pronged. The first
house. A couple of days in her dad calls my
mother and says, "We're still here. There was is advocacy. Malala has a great voice. She
an issue with passports." My mother gets can push governments to make policy (and
him to call the president [of Pakistan] and funding) decisions in favor of education.
And then the fund itself can raise money
gets them on the next flight.
At this point, they are overwhelmed. to distribute to local organizations in select
I'm on the phone with them and they say, countries for education projects.
"Can you come and be there?" So I book the
next ticket to Birmingham. There were a lot IE: What advice do you have for
of things to do. I'd go back to Dubai later students who want to tackle challenges
to finish the project I was working on, but like the ones that you took on at a
McKinsey gave me their blessings to take a young age? How do they find a cause

COURTESY OF SHIZA SHAHID

were suicide attacks, acid attacks on women,
complete inefficiencies in the government,
poverty, and a lack of opportunity and ambition among young people. I felt, "Okay, if
I can make sense of all this insanity, then I
must have something going for me, because
the ideas that I have in my head seem a lot
more progressive and humane than a lot of
what I'm hearing around me."


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2015

Pathfinders
Job Search: An American Tale
On the Rise
Frontlines
In Brief
Voices
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
International Enrollment
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Frontlines
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 8
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2015 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 16
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 20
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Voices
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Pathfinders
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 36
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Job Search: An American Tale
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2015 - On the Rise
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 54
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 60
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2015 - International Enrollment
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 72
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 76
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2015 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 82
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 83
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover4
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