Just got done reading this great book! Malala Yousafzai is no stranger to us now, everyone who is anyone knows she was a girl living in Swat valley, Pakistan. She was attacked by the taliban, survived and now lives in Birmingham, England and is an ambassador for the education of girls and children in general.
Her book is so much more than what we have read in the news or seen in interviews. It gives us insight in a very detailed manner into life in Pakistan under the taliban rule, while most of us know about the guns and bombs and all the mayhem they have caused, very few of us actually know what the people there went through, their attitude towards the taliban , their view of the US and what they feel about the political state of their country.
The book explores the background of her parents, her extended family, the traditions they follow, her father’s liberal attitude that is so heartwarming, he pushes for her to equip herself, attend the school they run, excel in classes, even when times are bad, she never stopped studying. Its truly wonderful!
Sadness hits you when you realize there are SO many more Malala’s out there, who don’t have the parental support, or possibly the chance to study and become smarter people, they live in the shadows of their families, husband, kids, and in some way lose their identity.
But what i take home from this book, is that education is SO important, especially for the girl child, because as she grows up she is considered the weaker sex and is subjected to so much of injustice, most of which women bear as they have no other go.
An example is one closer to home, we’ve had a house help for years whose kids we used to help study for exams, one of the daughters wasn’t particularly interested in her studies and more over her parents weren’t interested in her continuing past the 10th year of school.
She was married off against her will to someone they knew, only to return home a year later, thinner, abused,physically and mentally and only to be sent back within a few days.
I was shocked that her mother sent her back, i was shocked that my mother wasn’t surprised or upset that she sent her daughter back to an abusive household, perhaps it was because she has no other choice, no job to fall back on, and society’s nasty frown constantly following her, that she went right back.
It scares me, a lot
Having said that, being educated does not mean you are safe from injustice and crimes but it means you get a fighting chance to protect and empower yourself. I know of doctors and x and ys who have spent years studying and have “to kill for” jobs, who are victims of abuse and crimes.
Stil, education is the way to go!
So, on that note, go read the book I AM MALALA by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb. I ordered my copy from Amazon, and it came home in 48 hours, well packaged and with a massive discount! What are you waiting for ?