‘Young Pakistani activist shot by the Taliban‘ screamed headlines on that fateful day. October 9, 2012.That was the day I first came to know about Malala. I followed news stories keenly during the time but wasn’t tempted to discover more about her.
Two years later and a few days earlier, I happened to be watching the Nobel Peace Prize Concert and my interest was piqued by this girl, younger than me, who had survived a near-fatal shooting and now boldly took the stage to campaign for girls’ right to education. I was amazed by her quiet and stoic demeanor and immediately resolved to read more about her. And that was when I came across this book.
To say this book has left an imprint on me would be an understatement. I experienced so many emotions whilst reading this book. I have long been under the impression that I possess a considerable amount of knowledge about my culture but reading a few chapters of the book dispelled me of any such notions I have. The vast breadth of knowledge Malala has regarding her culture and the history of her motherland is truly phenomenal.
The story flows seamlessly and keeps you highly interested and engaged. One gets to live the moments with Malala, her everyday highs and lows and we get to understand the deep love she harbors for her home and people. By 2012, Malala had become a highly recognised person in Pakistan. But, through her writings, you discover that through it all, she hadn’t changed in the slightest. Unfazed by all the media attention and death threats from extremist groups, Malala writes about feeling bad when she places second in the end of term exams and fighting with her younger brother, Khushal. It is such an eye-opening narrative that puts things in perspective.
Her vivid descriptions of the Taliban control of the Swat Valley, the everyday bombings and the fear she felt for the life of her father leave little to imagination.
This is one book every single person ought to read. I can go on and on but as she says,
‘Who is Malala? I am Malala and this is my story.’
I’ll leave it to her.
P.S. Even as I write this, news filters in of a Taliban attack on a Pakistani school, which has led to the death of more than 100 children. RIP.
The PDF version of the book is available for free download here: http://ebooks.rahnuma.org/litrature/English/I%20am%20Malala.pdf