Shehla Anjum in the Anchorage Daily News:
I recently watched “Class Dismissed in Swat Valley,” a short, sobering video on The New York Times Web site. It's about the Taliban's decision to ban girls' education in the beautiful and formerly peaceful Swat Valley of northern Pakistan, the country where I was born and raised.
The video profiled Ziauddin Yousafzai, an educator, and his 11-year-old daughter, Malala, who dreams of becoming a doctor. As Malala talked about her desire, she knew she might have to defer that dream. To conceal her tears, she covered her face with her hands; tears welled up in my own eyes.
Malala's school, owned by her father, would close the next day. The Taliban has burned or bombed more than 100 girls' schools. Ziauddin feared if he defied the ban his school would be destroyed.