On Thursday, Sept. 24, atombash.com was on the scene for the New York premiere of the powerful documentary “He Named Me Malala.” The special screening was held at the Ziegfeld Theatre in midtown and featured a Q&A with Malala Yousafzai, her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, and Amina J. Mohammed of the United Nations. Director Davis Guggenheim moderated the conversation. The event was presented by Image Nation, Participant Media, National Geographic Channel and the Malala Fund. Malala walked the red carpet with a delegation of girl leaders and champions of girls education from developing nations. Producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald were also in attendance. Big names like Alicia Keys, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright and Hope Solo also attended to support Malala and the film. Alicia was spotted taking photos with Malala in the theater. An after-party followed at the Museum of Modern Art.
The film is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The Secretary-General’s special adviser on post-2015 development planning, Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria spoke about the UN’s new education initiative. She said everyone has to have the same courage that Malala has and encourage leaders to speak up. They are there to serve the people and they are there to ensure that conflicts are solved. Everyone really needs to look at the root causes, not just put a band aid on a problem today. It is about all children having education and their rights. She continued that the Secretary General believes that the youth are the torchbearers of the era and everyone must to put their actions where their words are. The goal is for all children in the world to complete twelve years of education. Malala said her and her friends were banned from going to school and that’s what prompted her to speak up. If you want to see change in your society, you have to come forward. She said do not wait for someone else to act, it is you who can really bring the change.
Davis Guggenheim: There are 750 souls here tonight who are very moved by your story and I think they want to go home with something to keep this movie and this experience with them. What do you want to tell them tonight to help them carry your message forward? What do you want to tell them so they can remember this experience and honor this experience and honor you?
Malala Yousafzai: Well, thank you so much to all of you, it is already a great honor you being here and giving so much support to a cause that I stand for which is education for every child. And this is not just the story of one family, but there are millions of people who are suffering from the same situation — suffering from conflicts and children cannot go to school and I, myself was not able to go to school and I really feel that I don’t want more children to be deprived of education. I don’t want more children to be deprived of a future, not to become what they dream for, and I have seen many girls in my life, in the Swat Valley, in my country, who had dreams to become doctors, engineers, teachers, and their dreams went away when their parents decided that they would get married at the age of 11, at the age of 13, 14. And the day when the school stopped I was in grade five and I had a very close friend and she was very good at her studies and then suddenly she stopped coming to school and maybe two or three years later we heard that she got married. But then she called and I said, ‘Where are you? You have been missing for so long,’ and she said that she got married and she had a child. I think the age was about 14 to 15 and she had a child at that age and she was married. She wanted to become a doctor but she couldn’t so I wanted to save those girls’ lives who really want to go to college but cannot do it because of the difficulties present in society. So through your support we can help them, through your support we can ensure that no girl faces these difficulties. And it is really important to ask that we work together and ensure that every child has a right to go to school and hopefully with your support with the film campaign and on Twitter you can write #withMalala and support us in whatever way you like. You can visit the website as well as I am hopeful that this film—that you can spread the message of the film, ignoring the things which my brother said. The rest of the film is okay though.
The film opens wide on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015