Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai opened Europe’s largest library on Tuesday.
The library is reported to have a million books in it.
Malala is a 16-year-old education activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban in Swat Valley in October last year during the Taliban occupation of the valley.
At the opening, Malala said that “pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism”, adding that “a city without books, a city without a library is like a graveyard.”
Addressing the crowd, she said “we must not forget that 57,000,000 children are out of school” and that “we must speak up for peace and development in Nigeria, Syria and Somalia.”
She added, “we must speak up for the children of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan who are suffering from terrorism, poverty, child labour and child trafficking.”
Malala recounted her own experience at school and said that she had read only seven books apart from textbooks assigned in class. She said that the culture in Birmingham was very different from Pakistan and that the people she encountered had read hundreds of books.
She also said that reading, knowledge and education are the only way to peace adding that even God chose the medium of a book to send his message to the people.