Book: I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Author: By Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai
Publication: W&N; Latest edition (9 October 2014)
Price: Click the link
I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai is the life and struggle of Malala.
Malala Yousafzai, born in 1997, to a Pashtun family in Swat Valley, Pakistan is the spokesperson for women education and human rights.
“When I was born, people in our village commiserated with my mother and nobody congratulated my father. I arrived at dawn as the last star blinked out. We Pashtuns see this as auspicious…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. For most Pashtuns, it’s a gloomy day when a daughter is born.”
But for her father, it was a day of bliss. He foresees that flame in her that he bears within himself in his struggle for justice. From her very childhood, Malala was the voice of freedom.
In a Nutshell:
Part- One describes life “Before the Taliban”. Malala narrates her childhood home with her free-thinking father and pious mother and two younger brothers. Her father Ziauddin is a man of extraordinary potentiality and wit. His liberal attitude to life and thought sowed the seed of free-thinking in Malala.
His dream was the school that he built for the education of children dodging the adversities. He gave free places in his school for poor children and his wife, Malala’s mother, also shares that generous heart by helping the needy neighbours and the relatives. In spite of their poverty, their life was simple and full of happy struggles with a dream of an ideal society.
But the scenario changes in part two- “Valley of Death”. It is a gory chapter of violence and bloodshed, murder and brutality by the Taliban. The peace of the valley shattered and forced prohibitions on human rights made life stagnant and fearful. People were getting butchered and killed in the name of religion, education, entertainment. They forced to shut the schools and banned girls education as well as their free movements. Malala’s father continued his campaign against them even at the threat of murder and Malala supported him.
“Only learn what God says. His words are divine messages, which you are free and independent to interpret.”
But due to the Taliban edict, Malala had to flee with her family leaving Swat for three months.
The third part-“Three Bullets, Three Girls” accentuated the severity of the situation. When the Army beat off the Taliban, Malala’s family returned though with disturbed easiness. Schools reopened and life seemed to be normal. Malala and his father started giving public speeches and interviews. Meanwhile, a new threat upset the life of Swat. The devastating flood washed out the short-termed serenity.
Even in that situation Malala’s father and Malala continued their mission, helping the miserable and distressed.
“He hated the fact that most people would not speak up. In his pocket, he kept a poem written by Martin Niemöller, who had lived in Nazi Germany. First, they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak out because I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”
But one day proving every rumour true, Malala along with her two friends was shot on their way back home on the bus.
Part four, “Between Life and Death” narrates the dark stage of Malala’s life, her dangling between life and death.
The Last part, “A Second Life” describes Malala’s rebirth, new life. She underwent several surgeries and prolonged treatment before coming back to normalcy.