Pakistani girl should have won Nobel Peace Prize
by Jack McNeely
Oct 13, 2013 | 671 views | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jack McNeely
Jack McNeely
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I was disappointed Friday morning when I learned that the young Pakistani girl who survived an assassination attempt a year ago for openly supporting girls’ education in her homeland was passed over for the coveted Nobel Peace Prize.

The prize committee in Oslo, Norway, awarded it to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international chemical weapons watchdog helping to eliminate the Syrian army’s stockpiles of poison gas.

Perhaps fresh on the minds of Nobel Peace Prize committee members, the efforts to rid Syria of chemical weapons is in its infancy. I believe this award comes a year too soon; let’s see first if their mission in Syria is fruitful.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes created by Swedish industrialist, inventor and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine and Literature. This year, the prize was worth 10 million Swedish kronor, or about $1.5 million in U.S. currency.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai took a bullet in the head after a Taliban gunman jumped into the pickup truck taking her home from school Oct. 6, 2012.

In early 2009 when she was only 11, Yousafzai blogged anonymously for the BBC about life under the Taliban.

The Malala Fund was formed following the assassination attempt. The fund campaigns for girls’ education around the world.

After regaining her eyesight and voice, Malala has stood steadfast in her beliefs despite facing an open contract on her life by the Taliban. She and her family now live in Birmingham, England.

In fact, just last week she won the $65,000 Sakharov Award, Europe’s top human rights awards. Many thought it was a prelude to the Nobel Peace Prize.

But some say she is too young for the prestigious award. And history supports that notion.

Lawrence Bragg is the youngest to receive a Nobel Prize. At the age of 25, in 1915, Bragg was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics with his father, William Henry Bragg, for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays.

Only four U.S. presidents have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize: Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, Thomas Woodrow Wilson in 1919, Jimmy Carter in 2002 and Barack Obama in 2009.

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize announcement is not the first to receive criticism. Although nominated in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and finally, a few days before his death in January 1948, Mahatma Gandhi never was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Not bad company for young Malala Yousafzai.

Jack McNeely is the publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle and can be contacted by phone at 205-221-2840 or via email at jack.mcneely@mountaineagle.com.