Sunday, July 21, 2013


Bad ideas vs. Good idea: the Power of Educating Girls 

By Amhare O Gilo

      There is war never before between good ideas, bad ideas, never than before the clashes between the two have split the world apart.  When Malala, a Pakistan girl spoke in the swat valley infested by radical Muslims about girls’ education, her message, and her advocacy was clear, was seen as provocative, in the eyes of the extremists it was threats to their draconian establishment, filthy environment they run.  The responses ensued by the extremists was total inhalation of her, they did by firing a bullet into her head, only Malala to be saved and survive due to modern medicine, and  technology.

The idea of changes, challenges against establishments predates our present course of history going to back thousands years. Of course rulers, power holders, and their establishments have been against public education and public knowledge of anything threats to their power.  For example a Roman emperor called Tiberius Claudius Nero 42 B.C. - 37 A.D.  Was very harsh in his treatment of his subjects who he saw possesses some kind of knowledge’s that will be threats to his totalitarian regime.  We are told that one day a Roman commoner invented unbreakable glass, came to Tiberius anticipating that he would get a big reward, if he demonstrated his invention to him, be okayed to starting a business of some kind; but according, after the man showed his invention, Tiberius then asked the man if he had told anyone else about his discovery? The man said no Sir, Tiberius said well, ordered his men dragged the man and killed.  According, Tiberius killed the inventor for fear that if the kind of technology was allowed to take place, the man allowed to make strong unbreakable glasses that would last long, therefore making the cheaper glasses out of the business, than this technology was a threat to Tiberius’s monarchical order of the day. Because in Tiberius’s mindset this kind of technology will upset the existing system of which he kept subjects busy, out of the city. Therefore the fear unemployment by his subjects, the wave of unemployed that will eventually come to Rome, making it harder for him to controlling them; the consequences of eventual riots in the city alarmed the king the most, therefor he was better got rid of the person.

In 1558 William Lee a British citizen who was by that time trained to become a priest took notice of the decreed, by Elizabeth the I who decreed that to her subjects wear a hands knitted caps over their heads. According William Lees came up with an idea of an invention that would free people from endless hand knitting, according by 1559 he had his stocking frame machine ready, travelled to London with very extreme excitement to see Elizabeth I, after arriving there, demonstrated his invention, he observed that queen Elizabeth I was unhappy about his invention. In fact the queen Elizabeth was said to have said this “thou aims high master Lee consider thou what his invention could do to my poor subjects. It would assuredly bring them ruin by depriving of employment thus making them beggars”. 

Therefore William’s invention was turndown, later he was banished from England, took asylum in France, thinking that France would be liberal to his ideas but little did he knows that all monarchies are the same, the response Lee got from French monarch, was the same as the response he got from the queen of England, Lee, even went to prison for it in France. And after Elizabeth death from illness, Lee than was allowed to return to England where he was permitted to apply the knowledge of his invention under King James I of England.

From the Middle Age, all the way to 19th century education was for well-to-do children, education was not for common man, wherever the world ones go, especially west European histories shade lights on many narratives on the struggle to make literature available to all.  For example 18th and 19th century England, education instructions were setup under the churches; to gain excess one has to go through rigorous draconian standard admission test, or exams. The way these institutions were setup discourages the poor even from thinking to attend them.  According to gain excess to education one has to go through was what they called apprenticeship for 7 years. All literary subjects  taught  were in  subjects approved by the church of England such, as  classical Greek, Latin languages  language , trade schools, were  for those who could afford  fees   So in this period or era as you can see education was for elites or for the people who live in the higher echelon of the society. So the vast majority of the population in England was left in dark, according those who read and write during those epochs were elites classes

Centuries ago monarchies were serious about preventing their subjects in gaining access to literacy, according to an English historian lady Antonia Frazier on PBS, until 1912 in England the word “Democracy” can land a person in prison that anybody talking about democracy was like somebody talking about “Revolution” or like somebody talking “terror” and terrorism today.  She said the ruling establishment in England was not comfortable with the word democracy; anybody seen reading pamphlets or distributing them was considered sedition, and  is subject to harsh treatment by law.    

  As you can see Tiberius, Queen Elizabeth I of England had two things in common: the power to kill or to banned, control subjects. By control both achieved four things: 1st they controlled the technology, 2nd they controlled the information, 3rd they controlled the invention, 4th they controlled the innovation.

So did you see now why Malala warrant death by the extremists’ groups? because all she wanted is education so she can chart her future, that's a threat to religious order she was living in, a challenge they must not put-up with. The power to hinder someone from knowing something is also to preventing him/she from inventing. The power to prevent anyone from learning is to make someone dumb unchallenging through written words, was/is, still being exercised.

 Mlala Youssef,   speech to the United Nation a couple weeks ago, titled “the extremists are afraid of books and pens” was a heart breaking speech; I have never come around, heard of from a sixteen year old girl for long in my life. Malala Youssef the Pakistan girl who survived the bullet wound to her brain by the religious zealots in her country has won the hearts, souls of million peace-loving people of the world.  Only her courage, refusal to be silence by extremists who control the vast swap of lawless territory in Pakistan, and where no government power exists are exceptional, her courage,  staunch  resistance against primitive religious order  only to be found in the historical annals of heroes.

Malala Youssef,  just like that heroic Ethiopian  Pinkaw’s lady of Gambella,  who refused to be subjected to continuous spousal abuse by her husband , beaten, strangled, down on her back, suffocated  chocked  with her husband holding her throat, asked insult me again or I kill you?  And the Pyinkaw’s woman replied, and said “fuck you” kill me I don’t care, only to be rescued by the intervention of spectators, who felt they too were responsible for what will be the end result of what they were watching.  

Andante preeminent poet once said, I paraphrase “ Hell is also reserved for those who watched crimes being committed at their presences, kept silence , said nothing, or intervene, or call for help”. The world now is paying much more attention to the millions of girls still suffering under inhuman cultural yokes.  Now we are all Malala Youssef, and  her banner to fight for girls education, the torch has been lit up brightly has never before, she shall triumph over the dark forces of dooms, wantonness.   


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