Watch “He Named Me Malala” with Your Kids

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“There is a moment when you have to choose whether to be silent or to stand up.” – Malala Yousafzai

Great changes are made when people are willing to speak out about injustices, even at the risk of grave personal danger. Martin Luther King, Jr. had the charisma and vision to propel the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. with his message of nonviolence and equality for all. Mohatma Ghandi peacefully led India’s move for independence with his compelling personality and call for peaceful disobedience. To bring peace in a world rocked by the Taliban, oppression of women, suicide bombers, airplane highjackings, and other horrific acts against innocent people – we need a proud Muslim leader to speak out against terrorism inflicted on innocent people in the Middle East and beyond. That person must be strong, intelligent, well-spoken, brave and charismatic. I hope, and believe, that person is Malala.

Watch "He Named Me Malala" with Your Kids

Who is Malala

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani human rights activist and the youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize. At age 11 she began writing a blog under a pseudonym. There she spoke out against the Taliban and voiced her support for education for girls. After gaining support in her community over the next few years, she survived an attempted assassination while she was riding aboard a public bus. She was shot three times and left for dead.

He Named Me Malala

He Named Me Malala is a movie that documents the Taliban’s attack on this remarkable teenager and her fight for the right for education for girls in Pakistan. I believe one of the primary keys to world peace is empowerment of women and girls. And the best way to empower people is through education. As Malala says in the film, “Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons.”

Why Watch this Movie with Your Kids

My children have the typical worries of American kids: forgotten homework assignments, sibling squabbles, the occasional fight with a classmate at school, and the dreaded loss of technology due to some infraction of our household rules. As an explorer of other cultures and places, I want my kids to have an understanding of the largeness of the world and their place within it. I want them to understand that some kids have it worse than they do – much worse. I want them to be grateful for the gift of education. After all, it is gratitude that brings true happiness. And I want them to know that some things are worth fighting for so that they will stand up for what is right, in small and large ways throughout their lives.

That is why my family will watching He Named Me Malala on National Geographic Channel together. I want to watch this program as a family so we can talk about why it’s important to stand up for what is right, how to practice kindness in a sometimes cruel world, and what each of us can do to make things a little brighter. The movie is rated PG-13, so I encourage you to preview He Named Me Malala to determine if the story is appropriate for your children. This will enable you to skip scenes and/or provide explanations as you deem necessary.

Donate to the Malala Fund

Are you on Twitter? Tweet #withMalala during the TV broadcast premiere and National Geographic Channel and 21st Century Fox will donate $1 to the Malala Fund. This charity’s goal is to enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities. Donate now!

Malala books for kids and adults

Watch and Read More about Malala

If you miss watching or recording the movie, you can purchase He Named Me Malala on DVD or via streaming video. You can also read about Malala’s journey in her best-selling memoir, I am Malala, or the young readers edition of the book, appropriate for tweens and teens. There is even a picture book for children, Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words, which delivers her message of strength and peace without creating fear for young readers.

Will you watch He Named Me Malala with your kids? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: I received a He Named Me Malala party pack for posting about this documentary. I did not receive any other form of compensation related to this post. 

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show,, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Each time I read something so eloquently written by you, such as this post, it makes me fall in love with you all over again. Well said.

  2. John Miller says

    Happy New Year Colleen! I know this is not a post about the new year but I just wanted to say how I think it’s great that you support films like these. Something that teaches people great values. I haven’t seen it but now I plan too

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Oh, thank you, John. This movie is quite eye-opening and inspiring for Westerners like me, who often take our freedoms and way of life for granted. I hope you enjoy the film!

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