i am malala

title: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban

author: Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

genre: Non-fiction, freedom, education, human rights

dates read: September 17th – September 20th

review: 5 out of 5 stars

summary: Malala’s father worked hard to start a private school in their district of Swat in Pakistan.  She grew up believing that all children have the right to an education, so when the Taliban started speaking out and saying the girls should not be going to school, she and her father worked against that belief.  Becoming more and more well known for her outspokenness, Malala was eventually targeted by the Taliban and shot in the face when coming home from school.  In her book she talks about the history of her beloved country and the political strife that has plagued them for too long.

summary: What an inspiration!  Malala is such a brave young woman, someone who is clearly passionate about human rights and isn’t afraid to do what it takes to make changes.  I was amazed by all that she’s done in her short life.  How wonderful to have parents who clearly love and support her; I was touched by the stories of her father’s devotion to her and it’s clear to see the influence of that love, support, and devotion.  Over and over again I was struck by how blessed I am to be free to go where I want and get an education without fear of being oppressed.  It’s sobering to think of how many children around the world don’t have access to the education I took for granted (and often complained about).  Her story is beautiful and tragic, but I think ultimately one of triumph and victory.

favorite quotes:
What are these baubles which tempt me?  Why should I lose my character for a few metal trinkets?” p. 58

“The Quran teaches us sabar – patience – but often it feels like we have forgotten the word and think Islam means women sitting at home in purdah or wearing burqas while men do jihad.” p. 75

“We felt like the Taliban saw us as little dolls to control, telling us what to do and how to dress.  I thought if God wanted us to be like that He wouldn’t have made us all different.” p. 103

“We were learning how to struggle.  And we were learning how powerful we are when we speak.” p. 131

“Some people are afraid of ghosts, some of spiders or snakes – in those days we were afraid of our fellow human beings.” p. 139

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