Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Malala and The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coelho

(I was very moved when reading today the BBC post below)

A teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for championing women’s rights has been given the honour of opening the new £188m Library of Birmingham.

Malala Yousafzai will unveil a commemorative plaque during a ceremony in Centenary Square on Tuesday.

The 16-year-old was attacked by Taliban gunmen on a school bus near her former home in Pakistan in October.

She was treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and now lives in the city.

She said she was “honoured” to be part of the opening ceremony.
‘Opportunity to succeed’

She added: “The content of a book holds the power of education and it is with this power that we can shape our future and change lives.

“There is no greater weapon than knowledge and no greater source of knowledge than the written word.

“It is my dream that one day, great buildings like this one will exist in every corner of the world so every child can grow up with the opportunity to succeed.”

Malala will place her copy of The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho in the library – the last book to go on the shelves. She will then receive membership to access the archive.

Councillor Ian Ward told visitors: “The great day is upon us.”

Addressing the public, Malala said she was feeling very proud that the building had been designed by a woman and that the city was now her second home after her “beloved Pakistan”.

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