UAE Foreign Minister receives Malala Yousafzai in presence of British Foreign Minister

 ABU DHABI, 29th October 2015 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, received Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai on Thursday in the presence of the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, The Right Honourable Mr Philip Hammond.
During the meeting, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the joint awarding of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to Yousafzai and Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi honours the defiant will against all forces of extremism and ignorance that want to impose their obscurantist ideology on people and throw humanity back to the ages of backwardness and bigotry against development and enlightenment.
“It also honours girls’ right to education, that are upheld by the teachings of our religion, Islam, without extremism, seclusion or immoderation,” he added.
“Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Ms. Malala also champions the civilisational vision embraced by the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for bravely countering the forces of extremism and violence and promoting the values of openness, moderation and tolerance,” Sheikh Abdullah added.
He further noted that the UAE supported Ms. Malala after she was attacked by terrorists and paid all expenses for her medical treatment in London. Then, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received Ms. Malala in Abu Dhabi and expressed appreciation of her determination and solid will.
“The courage that Ms. Malala showed, inspired her compatriot girls, as well as all girls across the world, who dream of regaining their full rights to education, and sent a clear message to all those calling for upholding ignorance and backwardness and wanting the world to go back 1000 years. That will can defeat guns,” Sheikh Abdullah added.
Education is one of the basic rights of women, according to the teachings of Islam, he noted, adding that the UAE was among those at the forefront of empowering women to receive education and play their role in society.
This approach, he added, was founded early and nurtured by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, through his providing full support to women, removing any obstacles for them and encouraging them to enroll in schools, because he believed in the importance of education for the development of states and society. This, he noted, reflected positively on the UAE’s international humanitarian and social role.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah also expressed appreciation for the UK’s cooperation with the UAE in caring for Ms. Malala and funding her medical treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
For her part, Ms. Malala thanked His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for supporting her during her crisis and providing treatment and care for her until she had recovered, following her being attacked by the Taliban.
The Pakistani activist for female education also expressed admiration and appreciation of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, GWU, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, for empowering Emirati women and children to strive to accomplish notable achievements.
Ms. Malala stressed the importance of education for aancing the role of women and creating a better future for women, guided by the teachings of Islam that rejects bigotry, extremism and seclusion.
She noted that women, who represent half of society, need more support in achieving their aspirations, alongside men, who are their partners in work, as well in the struggle to build cohesive families, which are the pillar of any nation.
UAE-based production company Image Nation Abu Dhabi recently released, in the UAE and overseas, ‘He Named Me Malala’, a documentary presenting an intimate portrait of Malala who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in October 2012.
The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for aocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived the assassination attempt and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.
Directed by Academy Award winner, documentary director Davis Guggenheim, the film shows us how Malala and her family are committed to fighting for education for all girls worldwide.
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