Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.

Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Nobel Prize for Peace

Ever wonder what people might say about you after you die? Perhaps, you'd like others to say you were a good friend or that you displayed kindness to all. A man named Alfred Noble actual got to read what people though of him when they thought he'd died in an explosion at a factory he owed. He was called the “merchant of death”!

Alfred Noble,born 1833, in the country of Sweden, was the invented of dynamite. He thought that this invention could be used for good. Dynamite could blast through rock to build tunnels and bridges. But,dynamite could be used as a deadly weapon! The newspaper that called him the “merchant of death” said his dynamite would "kill more people faster than seen before."

Upset by how he was being remembered, Noble got an opportunity to do something most of us do not. Since he was still alive, he had a chance to change the opinion people had of him. Having become very wealthy from his invention of dynamite(he also invented hundreds of other things), Noble shocked his family when he died in 1896. He had changed his will to leave most of his huge fortune not to them, but to a trust to award people who made contributions in Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, Literature and Peace. The awards were to be called the Nobel Prizes. Each October, awards are presented. The recipients receive a diploma,gold metal and a very large check!

Thus far, three American presidents have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson won the award. In 2002, President Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and in 2009, President Barack Obama received the award. In 2009, the award was over 1.4 million dollars!

 In 2013, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. This group is watching the current checking of the destruction of such weapons in the country of Syria.Congratulations to this organization for their efforts!

 I feel that another of those nominated such be highlighted on this day.

 Malala Yousafzai,16,was the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Born in the country of Pakistan, Malala has wanted to do something many children take for granted. She wanted the right to go to school and get an education. Unfortunately, in her area of Pakistan, a very strict group, called the Taliban forbid girls from getting an education. Malala started a blog which was published by the BBC website. She explained what was happening in her home area and what it was like being denied an education.

Eventually, Malala was able to attend school but the Taliban didn’t like how this young girl had so vocally attacked their views on girls and schooling. On October 9, 2012, while riding a school bus home from school, two Taliban men carrying guns stopped the bus and got on. The men shouted that they would kill everyone on the bus if Malala wasn’t identified. They pointed their guns at the young teen and shot her! Amazingly, Malala survived the attack. It took many months for her to heal from the horrible attack.

 In 2012, the teen was named one of the top 100 influential people in the world by Time Magazine for her efforts to bring awareness to the fact that many girls were being denied an education.

 In July 2013, Malala spoke at the United Nations. It was her 16th birthday. She asked that people unite for equality in education for girls and boys. In her speech, Malala said,”One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” She also said that people such as the Taliban are afraid of books and pens and that the power that comes from an education frightens such people. She also said,”Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.”        
Despite the fact that the Taliban continues to make death threats again this remarkable teen, Malala continues to speak out. May the spirit in Malala take hold in us all!

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