Like most teenagers, the most I had to worry about was going to school and getting good grades. That was my job and I did it well and proudly because I loved school. I loved it so much that I used to cry when I had a dentist or doctor’s appointment. My siblings didn’t understand it. They teased me calling me a nerd and other names along those lines and they were right. I was nerd. I still am a nerd and I am okay with that.
But I never thought about what it would feel like to not be able to go to school. Not for just one day. Not because of a routine check-up, but because those leading my country didn’t see it fit for me as a young mind to do so. A young-female mind, but a young mind, nonetheless.
And should that be my situation, what would I do? Would I follow the rules or would I, like Malala, speak up and protest against the injustice brought upon me and all the women in my country?
If we are being honest, which we are, I don’t think it would be the latter and that’s why I admire Malala and her story. I admire her for her courage to stand up for what she believed in at such a young age. I admire the sacrifices she made. I admire her for all the risks she took to accomplish her goals even to the point of risking her life.
In case you are unfamiliar with her story, she is a Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban because she spoke out about the necessity of education. At the time of the incident, she was riding on a school bus headed home for the day.
I truly enjoyed reading this book. At times it was hard to read because of all the details, but in many parts of the book, that proved to be beneficial. It was interesting to read how someone else lives through the good and bad times. And I had no idea that Pakistan had such a bad time when the Taliban came into their country. That was hard to read. It was also interesting to how someone else viewed my country. I had no idea how intertwined our histories were.
Bonnie from The Life of Bon posted these discussion questions:
Why do you think the Taliban is so threatened by the education of women? Why do they put up such a protest? I think the Taliban like most people know that education is key. I will try not to spill the beans, but I believe that the Taliban’s rule was made possible because of the uneducated population. Not just in reading and writing, but also in their knowledge of the Quran. I strongly believe that if more people were as well versed as Malala, the Taliban wouldn’t have had a chance to terrorize their country.
Malala’s dad encourages Malala to speak up against the Taliban in spite of dangers while the mother wishes Malala were less involved, especially after Malala’s life is threatened. If you were Malala’s parent would you encourage her to be a voice for such an important cause in spite of dangers or would you encourage her to protect herself? I am not a parent yet, but I could only imagine that I would encourage her to protect herself. At the same time, I would also want her to use her voice in some way and not be afraid of it. I think too often we as women are taught to keep our heads down and just go with the flow. Despite her getting shot in the head and I know it could have been way more tragic than that, her story shows us what we can do with a little bit of courage. I loved how Malala’s dad supported her in every decision she made because it gave her the opportunity to blossom into the young woman she wanted to become.
Why doesn’t the dad move the family from Swat valley even when it is dangerous? Do you agree with this? Though the dad owned a school, he was an advocate at heart and I think that is where Malala got it from. It’s possible that he thought it was more important to teach his kids the necessity of standing up for what you believe rather than running. I applaud that mentality, but I honestly don’t know if I would do it.
In a nutshell, “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By the Taliban,” is a good read. You will not only learn about a courageous young girl, but about Pakistani culture and Islam. The book will make you angry and even sad at times, but it will definitely give you a new perspective.