Malala Yousafzai Opened An Amazing, Futuristic Library In Europe

“Pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism,” says Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani activist.

1. Malala Yousafzai opened Europe’s largest library, The Library of Birmingham, earlier this morning.

Darren Staples / Reuters

2. It is 330,000 square feet and allegedly holds over 1 million books.

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

3. Malala is a 16-year-old Pakistani activist who fights for the right of girls to get an education. She was shot in the head by the Taliban on Oct. 9, 2012 on her way to school with other girls, and was flown to the U.K. to recover.

Handout . / Reuters

4. She said the attack only made her stronger. The United Nations declared Nov. 10 “Malala Day” as an occasion to focus on “Malala and the 32 million girls like Malala not at school.”

Mary Altaffer / AP

5. In her speech this morning, Malala told a crowd of 300 people that “a city without books, a city without a library is like a graveyard.”

Darren Staples / Reuters

6. The library cost 188 million British pounds, and looks really, really amazing.

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

7. Besides holding a million books, the library also has a large film and television archive and is the the world’s second largest repository of Shakespeare’s works.

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

8. And it has this futuristic escalator.

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

9. And these awesome chairs.

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

10. The library is clad in gold and covered in interlocking metal circles, which are meant to reflect the “values of universality, timelessness, and unity.”

Darren Staples / Reuters

11. Malala’s speech this morning focused on her “personal story.”

Darren Staples / Reuters

12. “Pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism. I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds, but our hearts and our souls,” she said.

Darren Staples / Reuters

13. “We must not forget that 57 million children are out of school. We must speak up for peace and development in Nigeria, Syria, and Somalia. We must speak up for the children of Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, who are suffering.”

Darren Staples / Reuters

14. “Let us help them through our voice, action, and charity. Let us help them to read books and go to school. And let us not forget that even one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

Darren Staples / Reuters

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