I Am Malala
Published: August 19th 2014.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 240 Pages.
Author: Malala Yousafzai.
Reviewed by Siti Debitha Dawinda, SK Togop Darat Ranau.
“Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow.” Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.” A Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for publicly voicing out her desire to see changes in their education system. Most would be silenced if not death by this near-fatal attack, but not Malala. The bullet that had scarred he for life had gave her global voice in which she used it rather profoundly. She fights for female education globally. At the age of 17, she secures herself as the youngest Novel Prize winner through the stories she penned that had reach million readers, I Am Malala.
Malala shares how she and all the other females in her country was being treated less than their worth just because they didn’t bear the same gender as men. She is a daughter of a local school founder in Pakistan in which she attended the school as she grown up. When Pakistan was taken over by the Taliban, it takes a toll on Pakistani women. Their rights for educations and other social positions were denied as they were deemed as less worthy being. This had had Malala taken aback by the mistreatment they are facing and as strong willed as she is, she vows to make a difference.
Back on 2005, a disastrous earthquakes had hit Pakistan where most of their lands were affected. Due to this, an extremist and conservative religious acted on to relief the burdens of those who are impacted by the disaster. Not too soon, they began preaching to mass saying that the quakes were warnings from God to them for their lifestyles and that they need to change their way of living. People began to fall for it more when the so-called Islamic scholar, Fazlullah began producing his own radio shows relays messages in the most wicked ways. He claimed and begged that listeners stopped listening to music, stop going to movies and other sorts of entertainment. He deemed that they should only listen to his channel whilst others are Haram for them to listen to and added that God will punish them severely for not abiding to him.
Overtime, Fazlullah began to become more assertive and declared that schools were Haram for all girls to attend to. He even executed the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, female Pakistani Prime Minister. This is when Malala realized that no one was safe in Pakistan. From this point on, Malala, who was then 10 years old, began displaying her courage; at first by continuing to go to school and later by speaking out against the Taliban. At 11, she began writing a diary for the BBC to be read by people outside of Pakistan in order to tell them about the situation in her country. She volunteered to do this and actually had to write under a false name, as she would otherwise face terrible consequences. In addition, she also began doing interviews for national television, speaking out in support of girls’ education. In 2012, one of her speeches led to a group of Taliban militants stopping her school bus on the way home and shooting her in the head. Thankfully, she survived although she has since had to flee her country and now lives in the UK, continuing her fight for women’s right to education.
This book has shown bravery and determination to uphold justice in the midst of global terrorism. It is also a tale of a family whose parents encourage their kids to get education and love their daughters immensely as their sons even in society that prizes sons more.