I just sailed through the biography written by Malala Yousafzai— I am Malala: the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban. Although written in a young person’s style and syntax, the story captivated me. After all, Malala is the youngest EVER recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize! I am impressed and inspired by this girl’s courage and integrity. Considering her country origin and its male-dominated culture, her determination to help girls receive a full education was truly remarkable. As well as the story of her almost-assassination, this is also a family memoir, specifically a memoir of a father’s love and determination to empower his daughter to rise above her culture. Their story is moving, especially within a context than overlooks women and houses Osama bin Laden. I am inspired by the love and encouragement Malala’s parents give to her.
Here are a few statistics that Malala shares on her website (a NGO to provide education to the world’s poorest children). You can find more information about how to get involved at the Malala Fund:
- over 60 million girls in the world don’t receive a full education
- the world average for women and girls in school is 7 years
- wages for women in the workplace increase 12% for every year they spend in school
Malala does a beautiful job portraying her home country of Pakistan, the troublesome and unreliable government, and the influence of the Taliban; she aptly explains the cultural and ideological differences. I appreciate Malala’s frank and earnest portrayal of the Islamic faith and her trust in God (whom she called God, as well as Allah). This book shows how corruption and fear bring out the worst in people, but it also reveals the enormous good people want to do–how total strangers will step in to care for someone in need.
I think every girl should read this book. I have no doubt that Malala will become Prime Minister of her country one day.
Malala’s mantra is: “Safe, free, quality education is the right of every girl.”