November 12, 2015

Read It: I Am Malala



By now most of us are familiar with the young woman, Malala Yousafzai. I remember being on my break at work and reading a report about a girl who had been shot in the head by the Taliban while on her way to school in Pakistan, and I remember being worried for her. Then, after her recovery, I remember when someone on my Facebook posted a video of her on The Daily Show with John Stewart, and I was amazed by how passionate she is, and yet so humble and forgiving. She has a beautiful heart, and is someone that I am inspired by and aspire to be like.

I learned a lot about the history of Pakistan in I Am Malala, and how they came to be at the place that they currently are. There are a lot of political steps, and missteps, that were taken that have put the country in a different place from the countries west of them. I also learned a lot about Islam, and the culture of Pakistan -- especially in the Swat Valley. I work with a couple of women from Pakistan that come from the Southern part of the country, and have experienced quite different struggles from Malala -- no less, or more, important -- but I really liked being able to speak with them about the history of their country and their experiences as Muslim women.

Her father is just as passionate as she is about education, and the importance, especially, of education for girls and women. I really like that Malala wrote about her father's past, and, despite his struggles, how he became a strong man that was incredibly valued within his community. He was a voice for equality, and helped give Malala her voice as well. I respect him very much.

There were a lot of parts in the book that made me emotional, specifically when Malala would talk about her love of education, and her call for educational equality. I realised how fortunate I am to have grown up in a country where it is my right to get a high school education, and where I can freely go into post-secondary education. I always had a desk, I always had books, and no one ever told me that I wasn't allowed to go. We really do not know how fortunate we are, and it is Malala's dream that every child is able to have the same experience as I had -- a dream that I think is attainable. Peace.



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