Last Monday, my friend Olivia and I decided to launch this idea called #GIRLWITHABOOK. At the time we were venting to each other about how horrified and utterly disgusted we were by the Taliban’s sick attempt at killing Malala Yousafzai on her school bus, and we wanted to do something about it. We wanted to do something for Malala, and at the same time stick it to the Taliban. So Olivia says to me “Let’s get people to post pictures of themselves with books! A favorite book, a random book, a school book, you name it. And we’ll post it on facebook, twitter, etc. to show Malala our support.” My reaction: THIS IS AWESOME.
The Taliban showed what they are most afraid: A GIRL WITH A BOOK.
So that’s exactly what we did. We created a Facebook page, Pinterest board, Twitter account and a tumblr. It sounds excessive, but can you blame us? We wanted the whole world to show their support for Malala. And as they say…a picture is worth a thousand words.
The first thing we did was message and email our own friends. Anyone we knew, we told them about our idea. Slowly but surely we started receiving submissions from our friends and family. They took pictures of themselves holding books, reading to people, reading with their pets, or reading together with someone else. They sent them in and we posted them. The number of likes on Facebook increased from 10 to 40 to 120 to 200. We were getting supporters from all over the world, and including other organizations like the National Women’s History Museum. And then something even more amazing happened.
Half the Sky, a book written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, tweeted and posted on their Facebook wall about us. As a result, we got over 400 likes on our Facebook page in a single day. Half the Sky is now also a film, a game, and a movement. All of which are about “raising awareness and inspiring action to turn oppression to opportunity for women worldwide.” The outpouring of support after their post was incredible.
Within a single week, we managed to launch a movement of sorts. It all began with a 15 year old girl named Malala Yousafzai, but now she has come to symbolize the hope that education can bring to both girls and boys. She is the one who inspired and touched everyone’s hearts with her courage. My friend and I simply wanted to find a way to thank her and show her that we stand with her. We stand with Malala, we stand with all boys and girls who are fighting for a chance to learn. Education is everybody’s right, and I truly believe it is our duty to do whatever we can to make sure that everyone gets their chance.
As of today, on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 9:44 PM, we have 811 supporters on Facebook, about 51 followers on Twitter, 72 followers on Pinterest, and 17 followers on tumblr (our tumblr is fairly new compared to the others). With the help of other people who believe in Malala and what she fights for, we can achieve this. We can stop extremists from taking away our education, our freedom, our rights. In the end, they won’t win. We will.
Here’s some more exciting news. After we receive a significant number of pictures, Olivia and I plan on compiling all of them into a book and sending it to Malala. All of us are praying and wishing for her full recovery, and we thought this would be a great way for us to show just how much she has come to mean to us.
If you want to join the #GIRLWITHABOOK movement, please submit a picture of yourself with a book to email@example.com. Make sure to include the title of the book and the city, state, country that you took your picture
Feel free to post on our Facebook page or tweet at us @_girlwithabook as well. We invite submissions from girls, boys, men and women, because a cause like this needs support from everyone.
Here are some of my favorite pictures.
126 thoughts on “#GIRLWITHABOOK”
Good post, fabulous idea.
Reblogged this on Simple Daily Pleasures.
Brilliant. How freaking brilliant. You guys are amazing. What an endeavor. I look at the picture of that young girl and I see so much bravery and strength that I am humbled. This project deserves more attention!
Thank you! And you can help us get more attention by telling all your friends and family about us! Send in a picture too 🙂
I will send a picture and I just posted on Facebook under my own fan page! Hope it sends some traffic your way.
That’s awesome thank you so much!!
I’ll definitely send in a picture! What’s the best way to do so?
You can email your picture to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Reblogged this on bitsnbooks and commented:
You can lose money, but you can never lose and education.
Brilliant post.l just wrote a poem about the attempt on Malala ‘s life.Regards.Jalal( you can visit my blog)
That’s a really good attempt! Am glad people are with Malala and with the fact that everyone deserves education. I appreciate your idea and your post. Thanks for sharing 🙂
This is awesome! It’s always amazing to me how things can get started- just a spark of an idea that lights up the world. 🙂
Wonderful concept. Lovely images
Brilliant! I have just posted this on Facebook. Here in South Africa we are having huge education issues. Not good. I love what you are doing, Thank you for taking this on and good luck with it!
Reblogged this on Where The Mongrels Hum And Howl… and commented:
YEAA GO MALALA! 😀 🙂 You’re not alone (you’d totally know that by now, but still 🙂 )
What a fantastic initiative! Spreading the word in South Africa…:)
This is one hell of an idea. Time to publicize it.
Done. Through all the channels I could.
That’s fantastic! Thanks for spreading the word
what a great way to show your support, I believe in your worthy cause! 🙂
Reblogged this on MegaPics and commented:
Some Agree and Some Don’t 😛
Check my blog on Malala.
I have pictures of students some of them carrying books .
What a great initiative.
I just wrote a paper in my Race and Ethnic class about this article. What an inspiration she is to me.
Love books and hope they stay fro a while. Nice warm post.
Keep at it! 🙂
keep up the good work
Reblogged this on Rattlers Pit and commented:
This is such a good idea!! have just sent a pic to the facebook page (a very bad pic) and posted on my wall about it. Well done!!
Reblogged this on Hami In Japan's Blog and commented:
Not my blog, but one that caught my eye as it had the word book. A great cause and a great idea 🙂
I love, love, love this blog!! I’m about to become the first person in my Mums family to get a degree; it might have personally taken a while for us to reach this milestone but there were no where near as many obstacles to my education than Malala has had to face; I still can’t quite believe that in 2012 a girl can still be shot just for going to school.
This is a wonderful idea. I’ve sent a photo of my little Emma with her book.
Reblogged this on THE ROYCROFT REPORT.
Reblogged this on I Am with you always and commented:
A growing movement inspired by 14-year-old Malala Yousufzia. Education is the key to solving so many problems in this world.
Reblogged this on moral fibre and commented:
I love the idea
Oh Thank You Lena!!!
THIS is precisely what I’ve been trying to explain to the dumb Americans for last 12 years that “fundamentalism” is an ideology. It can only be fought and eliminated by a competing more attractive ideology, NOT by bombs and missiles.
If the US had spent half the money they waste on wars in building schools instead and sending voluntary teachers, fundamentalism would have vanished by now.
EDUCATION is the key!
Sadly though, this has made me to suspect that the US war-on-terror was never sincere in the first place. Perhaps what they really wanted was a new military base right in China’s backyard.
Anyways, your ambition is a great one.
My compliments on comming up with such a good idea!
Education really is the key! And all of us lose if we leave anyone behind. Thanks for your support! And feel free to send in a picture too 🙂
Yes, in a couple of days I’d send a pic of my 2.5 year old son who already loves books. 🙂
Lena, congrats on taking action. I and my friend will be sending you our pictures by evening. Good wishes from Lahore. I also loved your blog and its name.
Thank you! The more pictures the better 🙂
Really great idea!!!!
Reblogged this on Alexandra Román's Mink and commented:
Share and share, for every child has the right to get an education. So read the post by visiting the link below, like on Facebook, take a photo with your favorite book, send it to A Girl With A Book and share some more. Girls like Malala are an inspiration as you will read.
Thank you for sharing! We really appreciate it
WOW, wonderful post thanks for sharing!!
So wonderful! I heart the internet and you and Olivia.
Malala is lucky to have a friend with you and Olivia. Please blog us and let us know your progress.
Will do! Keep an eye out for posts about our progress
How inspiring! Peace and blessings to both of you. 🙂
What a great idea! And kudos for putting it into action!
You go girls!
For a blog about the entertaining life of a teenage Brit, go to uniquelysophie.wordpress.com 🙂
Until recently, I had no idea that there were places in the world that would punish a girl like me. A girl who loves to read and learn. The idea that a boy could do something and I could not would be beyond appalling to me. It makes me proud to know that there are girls out there who know what they want and have the wherewithal to know that just because someone who is in charge says something does not mean it is correct. She knows we stand by her.
What a great idea, well done!!
Reblogged this on Making myself useful and commented:
Great movement toward human solidarity!
Good on you Lena. You’re an inspiration to us all. You’ve made my day. Bless you!
This a G☺☺d one
So true about the Taliban’s greatest fear being a girl with a book, that they would attack a child in such a hateful way. They redefine cowardice–that is for certain.
Good for you, and best of luck!
do you mind if i put a link to this from my blog? this is a brilliant, inspiring idea x
Yes of course! We would love to spread the word about this movement as much as possible
Reblogged this on words become superfluous and commented:
Here’s the re-blog!
Reblogged this on healingthymeproducts and commented:
A girl with a book…some people’s greatest fear, wow.
[…] With A Book’ was set up here, on WordPress, by two girls (Read the original post here: https://lenashareef.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/girlwithabook/). The aim of the campaign is to get as many girls as possible to upload a photo of themselves with […]
Girls this is fantastic. SO FANTASTIC i’ve written an article about it – http://rhiannoncdavies.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/malala-yousafzai-girl-with-a-book/ and tweeted of course. Fantastic. You’re amazing xx
Thank you for writing about us!
no problem- i think it’s great, feel free to retweet/reblog my article, i’m an aspiring magazine journalist! Xx
Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
Thank you! I was in quite a shock 🙂
Wonderful! Prayers for Malala!
This is an incredible idea, well done for coming up with it! I’ll be blogging for you soon and taking my own photo to add too!
That’s fantastic! Thank you!
When I saw the New York Times documentary video about Malala and her father, I was moved by her reaction upon returning to Swat and finding that her brothers’ chickens were gone. She had to go and check on her books. I have chills now remembering the scene. This is such an inspirational idea. I wish you the very best.
I felt the exact same way when I saw the NYTimes documentary. She is facing all this with such great courage. This project was the least my friend and I could do for her
Just awesome. What a wonderful idea!
And now … it’s spreading and … spreading 🙂
Haha exactly what we want!
🙂 How lovely!
Reblogged this on msamba.
Good for you! So good to get this out there.
Reblogged this on jshalliday and commented:
What a powerful movement. #girlwithabook
fantastic!!!! Good for you!!!!!!
Reblogged this on A View From The Middle (Class) and commented:
The story of Malala Yousafzai is one that’s fascinated me since it first became news. And this is a blog article that’s very cool and needs to be shared.
Courage under fire: http://bgft.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/what-is-pure-courage/
Hey guys! This is a wonderful idea 😀 I was just wondering if you have a deadline on when to submit the photos. Thanks, and keep fighting for the movement!!!!
Yes we just announced a deadline! It’s November 13 🙂
What an incredible idea! This is what the age of technology should be all about!
[…] #girlwithabook (lenashareef.wordpress.com) […]
I wish people would stop saying “Shot by men”. Men don’t shoot innocent girls. Men don’t rape or violate. Men don’t bully or dominate the weak … scum do.
‘Man’ is an honorific, a title that has to be earned—thugs with guns (be they Taliban or US forces) oppressing the innocent are not men.
Photo of me with a book? I don’t qualify, I’m a man. But I feel sick to the soul for what has been done to that innocent girl, and all the others like her. Your blog? Great idea, you might have started something really big; I hope so.
Thank you for your support. We would actually LOVE to get pictures of men holding books or signs of support. We already have a few and we’re trying to encourage others to do so. Would you consider sending one in? 🙂
its true Argus, but as girls suffer just for being girls, have some courage to at least be named with your lot….
I do not mean of course that all men do such things…
Congratulations on your success with your idea. I hope that you are able to inspire and change lives. I hope that one day everyone will experience true love and freedom.
totally awesome! go for it!
Good post. I like it!
Impressive and really very initializing too. “Half the sky” a wonderful book, it covers so much about being a woman. Where still there are more places to conquer in the women sector, it really disgust me when read about that innocent girl.Why harm such gracious person to learn and challenge a new frontier.
When I read the article in the news here I was sickened. A young innocent life trying to stand up for what she believes in… the world has very sick people… Congratulations for what you are doing in your fight for her to be heard! 🙂
A really poignant idea. It’s great to see pages and blogs like this.
Indeed a great act on your part … The world must know that courage see no AGE… A girl of 14 years of age has shown such a courage which Not even an adult could have shown against terror outfits like Taliban. Kudos to ur effort Lena.
Do Reach me at Krazy Memoirs I seek ur permission to reblog your beautiful post.
Please do reblog it! We would love to spread this movement all over the world
[…] Picture courtesey: Lena Shareeff’s Blog Jasoos […]
[…] Picture courtesey: Lena Shareeff’s Blog Jasoos […]
Hey Lena, I have taken liberty in putting some of your lines in my blog. Hope that is okie. Please do visit once Do Reach me at Krazy Memoirs_ The Blog Post
Yes that’s great! I appreciate you spreading the word about our movement 🙂
great!! just sent a picture and liked the page…I am glad we are all coming up with different things to show support 🙂
Lena– this is brilliant. I am über inspired by your efforts and have sent word along to my networks about this movement. If you need help with advocacy/donor support, perhaps to get this book compiled, let me know! In peace,
For sure! Thanks so much for spreading the word about this. We’d love to get more pictures 🙂
Also we’re open to suggestions on how we want to compile the book. We’ve thought of a few options, but I’d love to hear more. Can you email your thoughts to email@example.com?
This is an excellent initiative! I’m still relatively new to the blogging world, and happened upon your blog mostly by chance, but I’m glad I did. I have also written about Malala and how remarkable it is that she has inspired so many in such a short time. Just incredible. If you’d like, feel free to check out my post (below). Take care and good luck with this effort! I’m not a girl, otherwise I’d send along a photo of myself. Perhaps there’s a way to open it up to male participation? Just a thought.
Thank you for your support! We’ve actually been asking guys to send in pictures and you can scroll through our Facebook or Pinterest to see some of their pictures 🙂 It would be great if you could submit one too! And I will definitely check out your post on Malala
[…] And the original WordPress post that led to this campaign:- https://lenashareef.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/girlwithabook/ […]
What a lovely idea! Just sent in a photo & have scheduled a blog post to go out tomorrow about this over at http://jennifernon.wordpress.com 🙂 Cheers.
You are absolutely amazing and wonderful Lena Shareef! Thank you!
[…] came across this blog post about the Girl With A Book movement that someone started online in support of Malala Yousafzai, who was recently shot in the head & […]
[…] #Girl With A Book is simple, it’s easy. It doesn’t feed people, it doesn’t change governments. It doesn’t get food out to people in Africa or create jobs in poor economies. It won’t change the world. And yet… maybe it will. Simply because it’s an idea. And the creator, Lena Shareef, wasn’t afraid to start it. […]
[…] you haven’t submitted a picture to Girl With A Book which supports the cause of Malala Yousafzai, here are a few links. It’s an awesome cause, […]
[…] hearing Malala’s speech, we at #GIRLWITHABOOK received some phenomenal news from the UN! After several attempts of trying to get in touch with […]
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning
this post and the rest of the website is also very good.
I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to
come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
Thanks so much! I tweaked with the theme a million times and designed it myself 🙂
[…] those who have been following this blog for awhile, you know all about the #GIRLWITHABOOK project that Olivia and I started two years ago. And now I have some updates regarding that. Last […]