I have just finished reading I am Malala by Malala Yousafzia, the teenage educational activist, and this post is the promised piece about it.
The major theme of this book is education. Malala talks about her father’s struggles to study and set up his own school. She talks about her mother’s lack of education and about the difficulties facing Pakistani girls who want to study.
Malala Yousafzia wants to be known for her efforts to support education, as opposed to having been shot by the Taliban. The ‘girl who stood up for education’ uses her book to paint a vivid picture of the educational problems in Pakistan. These centre on girl’s education, and of course, the attempts made by the Taliban or other people to take this right away.
Yousafzia considers education to be one of the most important rights of all, In thinking this she does have a point, education is the best way to break the vicious cycle of poverty that many people find themselves in today.
Yousafzia studied at her father’s primary school and girls’ secondary school. He also runs a boys’ secondary school. When the Taliban began to influence educational ideas in her area (Mingora, Swat District, Pakistan), Yousafzia was spurred into action. She spoke in public, on radio and on television about her beliefs. Yousafzia also wrote a blog about life under Taliban rule.
One of the points I found most interesting in the book was Yousafzia saying that, while the Taliban were in charge, the students in her school were afraid to wear their school uniform because it identified them as going against the Taliban’s school of thought. I have a school uniform and I think it’s extraordinary that there could be such a bad opinion of girl’s education that you would be afraid to wear yours.
I think that I am Malala is a very interesting book and well worth a read. Clearly other people agree with me, when I returned the book to the library I discovered someone had reserved it, so it must be popular!