Malala Yousafzai’s Facebook Chat: One Voice Makes a Difference

By ABC News

Aug 8, 2014 6:00pm
ap Malala Yousafzai speech thg 131003 16x9 608 Malala Yousafzais Facebook Chat: One Voice Makes a Difference

AP Photo

By Alison Thoet

In a wide-ranging conversation with two of the most well-known women in the world, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg interviewed Malala Yousafzai in a live Facebook chat with 185,220 viewers today.

Sandburg introduced the 17-year-old as a “living symbol of the transcendent importance of education,” someone who risked her life “not just for herself but for what she stands for.” Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 when she 15 because she spoke out for girls’ education.

For almost an hour, Malala answered questions posted online from newsmakers such as Arianna Huffington and Melinda Gates, as well as young people around the world – including a friend from Pakistan.

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Much of the conversation focused on what inspires Malala in her fight for education. Huffington asked: “During the most difficult days, when you’re facing the most challenging moments, do you have a ritual or practice that helps you reconnect with your inner strength and resilience?”

Malala replied that reading to children helps her the most, stating, “These are the people, this is the young generation that inspires me.” She also said she looks to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela for inspiration.

Khalida Brohi, a friend of Malala’s, asked about her hopes for the future of Pakistan. Malala said that her dream is for equal education and more active participation by women in Pakistani culture. She also said she’s working to promote tolerance, freedom and equality in every society.

Sandberg, a director of The Walt Disney Co., which also owns ABC News, read a question posted by Melinda Gates: “What would you say to young people who don’t think their voice can make a difference? How can young people get involved in shaping the change they want to see?”

Malala quickly replied, “Tell the young people that I also thought my voice cannot make a difference, but it did.”

Malala’s final advice for the young audience and worldwide viewers was simple: “Use social media in a good way.”

Malala has recently launched a social media campaign asking all those who support girls’ education to post their own inspiring messages of what they are #strongerthan. In a video posted on her website Malala holds a sign saying she is #strongerthan fear.

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