Europe's largest library opened by Malala Yousafzai


Malala Yousafzai opens the new Library of Birmingham at Centenary Square on September 3, 2013 in Birmingham, England. The new futuristic building was officially opened by 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai who was attacked by Taliban gunmen on her school bus near her former home in Pakistan in October 2012.


Christopher Furlong

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for advocating girls' education, helped open Europe's largest public library on Tuesday in Birmingham, England.

Yousafzai was treated in the city after her near-fatal shooting, and still lives there with her family.

“Pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism,” 16-year-old Yousafzai told the crowd, the Telegraph reported.

“Now I will challenge myself to read thousands of books. And I will empower myself with knowledge."

Yousafzai spoke in front of several hundred people at the opening of the $300-million library, according to BBC.

During the ceremony she donated her copy of "The Alchemist" to the new collection.

Yousafzai urged Western leaders to support peace and development to help the people of Syria, Algeria, Somalia, India, Afghanistan and her native Pakistan.

“Let us help them to read books and go to school. Let us not forget that even one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world,” she said.

The new library is 10 stories and contains about 400,000 books. The Shakespeare archive contains another 43,000 books.

The building will contains an art gallery, a theater company and local archives.

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