In on to be the youngest to ever

In 1997, a brave girl by the name of
Malala Yousafzai was born in Swat Valley, Pakistan. Starting from a young age,
her father, a teacher, always taught her to stand up for what she believed in.
Malala grew up with a strong sense of viewing what was wrong in the world,
especially when the Taliban took over her hometown. In 2012, Malala was shot by
the very same Taliban, simply because she was a female who spoke out against
them in response to them shutting down school for females. However, this was
just the beginning of her journey. After her recovery, Malala continued to be
an advocate for girls’ education and went on to be the youngest to ever receive
the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. This is her story; she opens up about her family
life and the history of Pakistan and how she made herself stand out, hence the
title, “I am Malala”.

 

Quotes

 

Quote #1

 ”
‘Who is Malala?’ he demanded. No one said anything, but several of the girls
looked at me. I was the only girl with my face not covered. That’s when he
lifted up a black pistol. I later learned it was a Colt 45. Some of the girls
screamed. Moniba tells me I squeezed her hand. My friends say he fired three
shots, one after another. The first went through my left eye socket and out
under my left shoulder.” (Pg. 11)

 

This is written in the prologue of the
book. Malala shares the time she got shot by the Taliban on the bus. This is
significant as it sets the stage for the story as it gives insight as to what
she felt and how she saw it happen. Builds sympathy for readers and reveals a
memory for Malala that has stuck with her. “Who is Malala” is definitely
important as it also shows that she was known, meaning her words had been
getting out before she was shot. Her bravery is shown as after she is shot, she
continues to preach what she believes with more spirit than ever before.

 

Quote #2

“When I was born, people in our village
commiserated with my mother and nobody congratulated my father… I was a girl in
a land where rifles are fired in celebration of a son, while daughters are
hidden away behind a curtain, their role in life simply to prepare food and
give birth to children.” (Pg. 13)

 

This is an extremely important passage
in showing the inequality that is still present today between females and
males. In countries like Pakistan, a female newborn is looked upon as a
disappointment. Malala shares how she was grown up to believe that males and
females do not have the same rights. Women are only looked upon to be capable
of being in the kitchen. This stood out to Malala as being wrong, and motivated
her to bring change around her. She wanted the same educational rights and
freedom for women.

 

 

Quote #3

“I don’t know how they can live with
their consciences when they see our people going hungry or sitting in the
darkness of endless power cuts, or children unable to go to school as their
parents need them to work. My father says that Pakistan has been cursed with
more than its fair share of politicians who only think about money. They don’t
care if the army is actually flying the plane, they are happy to stay out of
the cockpit and sit in business class, close the curtains and enjoy the one
food and service while the rest of us are squashed in economy.” (Pg.41)

 

Quote #4

“In our culture speeches are usually
written by our fathers, uncles or teachers. They tend to be in English or Urdu,
not in our native Pashto. We thought speaking in English meant you were more
intelligent. We were wrong, of course. It does not matter what language you
choose, the important thing is the worlds you use to express yourself…I started
writing my own speeches and changing the way I delivered them, from my heart
rather than from a sheet of paper.” 43

 

Malala took part in a public speaking
contest at her school. During this experience she learned a valuable lesson
that she carried with her. The speech said by her was written by her father,
although the message was deep and meaningful, it wasn’t delivered in a correct
manner. This taught her that it is better to tell your own story and share
something you are passionate about. When you are passionate about something,
all of the emotions tag along in a way that you begin to appeal to others and
truly begin to make a difference. Overall, this experience built her
confidence, which is what helped her speak out to the Taliban, and deliver
memorable speeches across the globe.

 

 

Quote #5

“Then, at the end of 2008, Fazlullah’s
deputy Maulana Shah Dauran announced on the radio that all girls’ schools would
close. From 15 January girls must not go to school, he warned. First I though
it was a joke. ‘How can they stop us from going to school?’ I asked my friends.
‘They don’t have the power. They are saying the will destroy the mountain but
they can’t even control the road.’ … We believed school would start again. The
Taliban could take our pens and books, but couldn’t stop our minds from
thinking.” (Pg. 76)

 

This is important as it reveals the
inequality between both genders; the Taliban believed that education was not
for women. This also reveals how the Taliban had the power to control
everything around Malala. This upset Malala and is really the point where she
knows herself that she has to change this. This is proven through her response
to the Taliban; they “couldn’t stop our minds from thinking”. Additionally, she
isn’t afraid to speak her mind and did not fear them enough to keep quiet.
After this point, Malala speaks out and she stands up for those girls around her
who are too afraid to use their voice.

 

Quote #6

“The bodies would be dumped in the
square at night so that everyone would see them the next morning on their way
to work. There was usually a note pinned to them saying something like, ‘This
is what happens to an army agent’, or ‘Do not touch this body until 11 a.m. or
you will be next.’ On some of the nights of the killings there would also be
earthquakes, which made people even more scared as we connect every natural
disaster with human disaster.” (Pg. 77)

 

Quote #7

“The Taliban is against education
because they think that when a child read a book or learns English or studies
cinch he or she will become Westernized. But I said, ‘Education is education.
We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow,’ Education is
neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.” (Pg.83)

 

Quote #8

“While I was hovering between life and
death, the Taliban issued a statement assuming responsibility for shooting me
but denying it was because of my campaign for education. ‘We carried out this
attack, and anybody who speaks against us will be attacked in the same way,’
said Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the TTP. ‘Malala has been targeted
because of her pioneer role in preaching secularism… She was young but she was
promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas.” (pg. 127)

 

Quote #9

“Today we all know education is our
basic right. Not just in the West; Islam too has given us this right. Islam
says every girl and every boy should go to school. In the Quran it is written,
God wants us to have knowledge.”(Pg. 154)

 

This gives insight to the real Islam
that is followed by many. Proving that the so-called “Islam” followed by the
Taliban is not what the religion is about at all. They have twisted the words
of Islam to make it what they feel is correct. The Taliban is wrong, and Malala
is quick to acknowledge that. She is fighting for the right to education and
her religion is there to support her every step of the way.

 

Quote #10

 “He is the greatest. By giving me this height
to reach people, he had also given me great responsibilities. Peace in every
home, every street, every village, every country – this is my dream. Education
for every boy and girl in the world. To sit down on a chair and read my books
with all my friends at school is my right. To see each and every human being
with a smile of happiness is my wish. I am Malala. My world has changed but I
have not.” (Pg.154)

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

This book is an enjoyable read and
recommended to those who appreciate non-fictional text and wish to learn more
about the world around them. The history of Pakistan is described in depth
throughout the book, which is why this novel is also recommended to those who
enjoy international politics and history. Malala is a remarkably inspiring individual
who advocates for females to have the same rights to education and males do.
This book discloses her journey in Pakistan, from the time she was born, to the
time she was shot by the Taliban and her life afterwards. It is a definite eye
opener to the current world issues and the rights to education, free speech and
religion that can definitely be taken for granted.

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