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Archive for October 2014



Name: I Am Malala

Author(s):   Malala Yousafzai (Author), Christina Lamb (Contributor)

Genre : biography, non-fiction

Series: —

Pages : 289 pages

Publication Year:  8 October 2013

Is Review Spoiler: No

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Buy: You can get it from here.


Malala – you might have heard this name – recently – she is THE YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. You might be thinking – what she did to earn noble peace prize?

My friends say he fired three shots, one after another. The first went through my left eye socket and out under my left shoulder. I slumped forward onto Moniba, blood coming from my left ear, so the other two bullets hit the girls next to me. One bullet went into Shazia’s left hand. The third went through her left shoulder and into the upper right arm of Kainat Riaz.

This is the story of a girl shot down by the Taliban. Most of us knew her as a girl shot down by Taliban for opposing them and supporting education of girls but before she was shot down by Taliban – she was a star campaigner for girl rights and won many awards and even won the maiden “National Youth Peace Prize awarded  her on 19 December 2011 by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani for her services towards promoting girls’ education in her hometown of Mingora in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had banned girls from attending school.” Now this prize is known by her name “National Malala Peace Prize”.

Malala born in a pious Sunni Muslim family of Pashtun ethnicity in the year 12 July 1997. Her father gave her the name Malala which means “grief-stricken” after Malalai of Maiwand, a famous Pashtun poetess and warrior woman from southern Afghanistan.

I would say her father Ziauddin Yousafzai is a real hero and inspiration to Malala for standing up for girls rights in Swat valley after Taliban invasion. Her father Ziauddin – who came from a middle class family opened a school in Swat valley for girls with the help of his friends and named it “Khushal Public School” named after a famous Pashtun poet, Khushal Khan Khattak.

Before the advent of Taliban in Swat valley – her life and Swat valley were both very peaceful and girls school was running without much problem apart from small opposition. But when US invaded Afghanistan to remove Taliban – instead of removing Taliban from that region they moved them from Afghanistan to Pakistan.

When Taliban first appeared in Swat Valley – they started their activities – first by broadcasting a religious sermons on FM Radio station and everyone in Swat valley loved their sermons. Then they started helping needy and contributing in relief works when there was a earthquake in Pakistan. After gaining the support of people – they started giving religious fatwa’s on Radio and told everyone in Swat valley to stop listening to music, watching movies and dancing. Then they banned girls from going to the school saying it’s against Islam where as Islam is in favor of girls education.

Islam encouraged religious education of Muslim women. According to a hadith attributed to Prophet Muhammad (Blessing and Peace be upon him), he (Blessing and Peace be upon him) praised the women of Medina because of their desire for religious knowledge:
“How splendid were the women of the Ansar; shame did not prevent them from becoming learned in the faith.”

At various other times, the Prophet Muhammad (Blessing and Peace be upon him) told his followers:

1. “Acquisition of knowledge is binding on all Muslims, male and female.”
2. “Seek knowledge, from the cradle to the grave.”
3. “Acquire knowledge, even if you have to go to China for it.”
4. “The person who goes forth in search of knowledge is striving hard in the way of Allah, until his/her return

“It is impossible to be a Muslim, to live according to the requirements of Islam, and at the same time live in a state of ignorance.” – FOMWAN

So, when Taliban banned girls education from Swat valley – Malala raised her voice against them and she started campaign in favor of girls education.

She get’s inspiration from her father who was foremost to fight for girls rights in Swat Valley, as she put’s it about her father:

He hated the fact that most people would not speak up. In his pocket he kept a poem written by Martin Niemöller, who had lived in Nazi Germany.

First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak out because I was not a Catholic.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

The book beautifully portrays the life of Malala and brings to light many unknown facts about her life before she got shot. One of those thing I didn’t know was this: She started writing a blog for BBC Urdu in 2009 as “Gul Makai” (“cornflower” in Urdu), a name taken from a character in a Pashtun folktale. The blog records Yousafzai’s thoughts during the First Battle of Swat, as military operations take place, fewer girls show up to school, and finally, her school shuts down.

I would recommend this book to anyone who want’s know about the courageous girl who stood against Taliban for her rights.

Excerpts from book:

I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world


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