The Nobel Peace Prize 2014 was awarded jointly to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”. Since the opening of the College in 1995, each year we have been invited to send a delegation of students to the Prize ceremony in Oslo City Hall.
In considering this year’s recipients, hardly ever has there been a winner more relevant to our own cause; to make education a uniting force. In the poor countries of the world 60% of the population is under 25 years of age. It is essential for peaceful global development that the rights of young people are respected. In conflict-ridden areas, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation. Or to use the words of journalist Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times, “The greatest threat to extremism isn’t drones firing missiles, but girls reading books.” Our best congratulations to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi.
This year, Hamza (Pakistan), Gautham (India), Clara (Sweden), Leticia (Brazil), and Jasmine (Singapore) attended the ceremony with Alistair (South Africa), the Deputy Rektor. Hamza and Gautham were both invited to write reflections on their experience:
Gautham: ‘It gives me immense pleasure to share my incredible experience of attending the Nobel Peace Prize 2014. This event was remarkable because it was a joint prize between India and Pakistan. I appreciate the Nobel Peace Prize selection committee for choosing this year’s winners and making sure that their dedication and hard work become well known. Both recipients are very deeply committed to the work of ‘upliftment’ of women through empowerment and education, respecting child rights, supporting the abolishment of child labour and promoting the right to education. This was a very unique and inspirational day, one of the most memorable days in my life. I learnt a lot and met many special people. I would like to thank our College for providing me with this wonderful opportunity.’
Hamza: ‘The Nobel Peace Prize Event was magnificent. It was a thousand times better than my expectations (and my expectations were already really, really high!). It was an honour to represent my College and my country at such a big event and it was truly awesome seeing and listening to Malala and Kailash. I found their speeches really inspiring and they managed to bring tears to my eyes. The speeches, the environment, the performances, everything all together were truly amazing and I loved every single bit of it.’