The Nobel Peace Center in Oslo has obtained a powerful addition to its new “Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition 2014 – Malala and Kailash” opening December 11. The blood-stained school uniform worn by Peace Prize co-winner Malala Yousafzai on the day she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman was going on display, at the winner’s own request.
“My school uniform is very important to me because when I was going to school I would wear it,” the young Peace Prize winner said in an interview prepared for the exhibition. “The day I was attacked I was wearing this uniform. I was fighting for my right to go go school … to get education. Wearing a uniform made me feel that yes, I am a student.
“It is an important part of my life, now I want to show it to children, to people all around the world. This is my right, it is the right of every child, to go to school. This should not be neglected.”
Bente Erichsen, executive director of the Nobel Peace Center, said the uniform had been kept by Malala’s family since her attempted murder in October 2012.
“Malala’s blood-stained uniform is a strong and heartbreaking symbol of the forces many girls are fighting for the right to go to school,” Erichsen said. “We are grateful that Malala has chosen to show it to the public in our exhibition.”
Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satharthi of India were named as winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education. They were to formally open the annual exhibition mounted in connection with the Peace Prize on December 11, the day after they are awarded the Peace Prize in Oslo’s City Hall. The exhibition will open to the public the next day, with free entrance through the end of the year.
The two Nobel Peace Prize winners faced a busy program when they arrive in Oslo next week. In addition to the normal Nobel program, which includes official welcoming ceremonies, press conferences and the awards ceremony on December 10, followed by a banquet that evening and concert the next day, both winners are due to attend a joint celebration featuring Indian and Pakistani artists after the awards ceremony. Both winners are also expected to speak at the celebration.
More than 35,000 people with Indian and Pakistani background live in the Oslo area, under far more harmonious circumstances than along the border between the two countries. “Given the tense situation in the region, it’s extra joyful that the Peace Prize went to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi,” Aamir Sheikh, leader of Norway’s 14th to August Committee and organizer of the celebration, told newspaper Aftenposten.
Satyarthi will also take part in a conference arranged by Norad, Norway’s foreign aid agency, on December 11. The theme of the conference is democracy and human rights.