I am Malala

By- Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced. Malala Yousafzai, a teenager known throughout Pakistan for her advocacy on women’s education and women’s rights. Standing up for women’s progress can be a risky business in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan where vicious Islamic extremists have a strong foothold. She has publicly spoken for women education was shot in the head by the Taliban, in an attempt to silence her. She survived.

This near to death experience gave her a voice which could not be supressed and that progressed to her earning the Noble Prize when she was just 17, she has been continuing to fight for female education and her global scale has been increasing ever since. In Malala’s gripping book she tells a story of faith, hope and bravery.

Circumstances which brought her to the front of an international scene on female education are heart-wrenching and tragic, that involved Taliban taking over Pakistan, being forbidden to attend school because of her being a girl and was asked to stay at home and being shot in the head by the deadliest terrorist group in the world back in 2012. These are the situations which many would not be able to sail through, most would abandon and drown will fighting for what is right. But she did not budge. She kept a fierce front and continued to advocate for education for girl’s and women. After going through hell, her voice is stronger than ever and is also supported globally.

Overview

In the first half of the book, she describes the history of Pakistan, her family’s ancestors and Swat, which is the northern region of Pakistan where she used to live as a kid. She shares anecdotes about her childhood, her family. She gives the reader a glimpse of Pakistan through a women’s approach. Malala’s father founded the local school which she attended growing up, from a young age, she demonstrated strong character and soon began to ask her father why were women being treated so poorly in Pakistan. In response, he told Malala about Afghanistan, where the Taliban burned schools for young girls and forced them to wear full burkas. Her father’s goal was to make her understand that the poor treatment of women in Pakistan was actually not that bad, when he compared to the way women were treated in Afghanistan. This book is almost about her father, Ziauddin, who is a teacher, headmaster and a local activist. He is the dominant influence in Malala’s life and has been consecutively criticized for encouraging his intelligent child to be outspoken in a dangerous environment. According to Malala’s perspective, her father feels guilt and felt responsible for what had happened to her, but also is proud of her bravery and accomplishments. Ziauddin is a very progressive man in Western terms and considering where he belongs from. Her father is the leader of the local environmental movement, champion of girls’ education, woman’s rights advocate He has challenged the Taliban repeatedly at many public events. In one of the most memorable scenes from the book, Taliban mullah who was a local who was accompanied by village leaders, pay an evening call on the Yousafzai home to demand that Ziauddin needs to stop educating girls. Her dad not only pushes them back, but he also he kicks them out of the house. Malala carefully sees that her father speaks out in support of his ideals. she is heavily influenced by the conduct of her parents. She learns her father’s ideals and develops with her own impressive smartness, talent, bravery and determination. Malala’s fierce advocacy on behalf of girls’ education and women’s right is clear and forthright as her father’s. When the Taliban threats finally had shut down her school, she tells the journalists that: “They cannot stop me. I will get my education if it’s at home, school or some other place.” She has a mind of her own. She has her own voice as well. She conveys with humour, that her father is a romantic and idealistic man and her mother, is an illiterate Pashtun woman, who keeps the family grounded. It will be very interesting to see how, as she grows older, Malala will inculcate the strong and different models presented by her parents.  This book has raised many questions, In the year 2012, one of her impactful speeches led to a group of Taliban militants stopping her school bus on the way back home and shooting her in the head. Thankfully, Malala survived although she had to flee from her country her home and now lives in the United Kingdom continuing her fight for women’s right to education and their rights.

Final Thoughts:

this book should be used around the world to teach the importance of education and what impact it can make.  It is an extremely powerful book. Malala is someone we can all get inspired from. When you are reading this book, you will easily forget that she was just a child when most of these unfortunate events happened. This book is a fast read. It is suitable for people who are specialists in the region and ordinary people who are seeking to improve their knowledge of Pakistan, but will be especially engaging for those who are interested in the story of this inspiring young woman, whose life goals and contributions to the global community are just beginning. She used her misery and her tragic past to build a cause that matters and helps to solve the problems she sees as pressing. The fight is still going on and its needs our undivided attention.