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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:58 pm 
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My main issue is that depending on Malala's trajectory, her life is most certainly still in danger. So I think it is important to recognize her efforts soon.

Furthermore, a Nobel Peace Prize could actually help keep her physically safer. Taliban militants are certainly capable of killing a high-profile women's rights activist within Pakistan, but some of their leadership might think twice before going after a world-renowned Nobel Peace Prize winner. Particularly if the Taliban is trying to improve its image in the country, which currently may be the case.

Lastly, Malala cannot pursue a normal "young girl" life in Pakistan, whether she gets a Nobel Prize or not. She is already internationally-recognized, and that will impact her life. Plus, even if she wanted to retreat back into greater domesticity, the conditions in her country are preventing her from being the kind of young girl she wants to be. She wants to go to school, and she wants to be intellectually active. And if things don't change in Pakistan, that will be very difficult.

So unless she wants to leave open the option of being a very private young girl outside Pakistan - in Europe, North America, or somewhere else more stable - she is likely going to stay fully committed to this fight. A Nobel Prize would have, IMO, given her greater cover, and a higher likelihood of success.

That's not to diminish the Prize that was awarded. Chemical weapons are a horror, and should be stigmatized as much as possible.


Last edited by Passdagas the Brown on Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:01 pm 
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Nin is spot on. There are too many possible outcomes from giving a teenager a Nobel Prize that end up with a screwed-up adult. She's obviously an exceptional kid, and she's already been recognized for what she represents and what she's done. Let her work out her path for a while without the unique pressure being a Nobel Laureate would bring.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:04 pm 
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Disagreed. IMO, that "unique pressure" would also likely bring her increased safety, IMO - which could also lead to increased effectiveness within Pakistan. I don't want to see her go the way of Benazir Bhutto, particularly since she is so young.

It is also important to remember that our own conception of what it means to be a "young girl" is very different from what it means to be a young girl in Pakistan. Out of necessity, children grow up very fast in such hostile environments, and in that respect Malala is not the exception- she is the rule. She is unique in her activism, but not unique in her apparent adulthood.

She really does not have the luxury, or even the ability, to be the kind of young girl we think of when we think of our own children.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:12 pm 
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As the fates of Sadat and Rabin demonstrate, a Nobel medal provides little in the way of armor.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:34 pm 
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axordil wrote:
As the fates of Sadat and Rabin demonstrate, a Nobel medal provides little in the way of armor.


All that demonstrates is that a medal does not ensure safety, which is obvious. But IMO, a Nobel Prize victory could decrease the likelihood of an attack on her, as there would exist a greater international buffer. Much like the phenomenon of terrorists generally (though certainly not always) being averse to targeting UN peacekeepers.

Whether it seems credible or not, Taliban leadership does actually think about PR. And at least at the leadership level, a Taliban commander would not likely think it a great idea to murder a 16-year old Nobel laureate.

Of course, Taliban leaders have limited control over their rank and file, but the point is that such an international honor might contribute to at least a slightly higher likelihood of physical safety.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:48 pm 
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I completely agree with PtB. Her "normal" life is impossible at this point, regardless of the Nobel Prize. She is despised in her hometown, reviled as a CIA spy (link). I certainly don't think the organization that was honored was a bad choice, but I don't agree that it would have been bad for Malala to have been honored in this way. On the other hand, I don't think it will matter much to her. She strikes me as having remarkable determination and fortitude. I expect her to continue on her path regardless.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:25 pm 
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Malala did win the EU Sakharov human rights prize. Which may be even more appropriate. The causes of human rights and peace do not always coincide.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:52 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
Malala did win the EU Sakharov human rights prize. Which may be even more appropriate. The causes of human rights and peace do not always coincide.


Good point. Though I would argue that where there are human rights abuses, there is no real peace. But not everyone agrees with that definition...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:56 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
I completely agree with PtB. Her "normal" life is impossible at this point, regardless of the Nobel Prize. She is despised in her hometown, reviled as a CIA spy (link). I certainly don't think the organization that was honored was a bad choice, but I don't agree that it would have been bad for Malala to have been honored in this way. On the other hand, I don't think it will matter much to her. She strikes me as having remarkable determination and fortitude. I expect her to continue on her path regardless.


Agreed. And while I think the organization devoted to chemical weapons eradication is exemplary, what Malala has done takes a level of bravery that such an organization does not have to reach. Yes, the Nobel Prize isn't necessarily about bravery in the face of violence (or the threat of violence) but I do think that the Nobel Committee should consider how its awards might contribute to strengthening bravery amongst oppressed publics, and whether or not it wants to play such a role.

I think it should, but that's just, like, my opinion man.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:33 am 
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Perhaps we should be happy there are a number of exemplary choices?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:10 pm 
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I'm not unhappy. I'm just giving my opinion that I think Malala should have won, and I think others are just giving their opinion on why she shouldn't have (or why it's better that the anti-chemical warfare people did).

I don't see how winning the prize would have warped her. If getting shot in the head didn't warp her or deter her from her cause, then I really don't see any prize--no matter how prestigious--causing her to stumble.

Anyway, I'm beginning to think, based on recent years' recipients, that they often give the prize to the people you least expect and, sometimes, even the ones you least desire to win. I wonder if it's almost become a contest to defy public opinion and/or pick the least likely/least deserving.

(I'm not saying that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is not deserving.)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:09 pm 
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It might also be that the committee isn't defying public opinion so much as they are completely and utterly ignoring it.

I get surprised by the Peace Prize every year but I never seem to be in the buzz loop either.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:00 pm 
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I don't think it would have warped her, either. My own concern is that it would make it harder for her to choose a different life later. However, it probably wouldn't have made that much difference.

When she met with the president and Mrs. Obama (and Malia) yesterday at the White House, she told the president that drone attacks were fueling terrorism. She is indeed a strong and self-possessed young woman!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" is available to read free at the New Yorker site:

Link

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:57 pm 
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And last but not least, the Nobel Prize in Economics goes to Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, and Robert Shiller "for their empirical analysis of asset prices."

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:54 pm 
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River wrote:
And last but not least, the Nobel Prize in Economics


That's a matter of opinion. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:02 pm 
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I'm trying to be nice and fair here. :P

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:59 pm 
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All hail the Economics gods! :bow:

(No one gives any love to the Economics people.)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Aw, c'mon. I think pretty highly of Paul Krugman. (He's a longtime science fiction geek who sometimes shows up at conventions.)

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Well, let me rephrase this, I never give any love to the Economics people. :P

Bless their structured, neat & tidy, ISTJ hearts.... ;)


(I'm kidding! I know they're not all ISTJs.)

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