November 7, 2015 by Autumn
Last night I finally finished ‘I Am Malala.’ It took me one month (a very long time for me) to read this book in which I was so eager to read. I had three different reactions while reading this book. My first reaction was that it was interesting and gave me a lot of knowledge I did not previously posses. My second reaction was wow, this is really slow and tedious. My third reaction was sadness for what the people of Pakistan had to endure from the Taliban, inspiration from those who weren’t afraid to stand up for what they feel is right, and admiration for a young girl who just wanted girls to be able to go to school.
One of the things that truly touched me in this story is the unyielding love Malala’s father has for her. He did not care that she was not a boy in a culture that put male children on a pedestal. She was his Malala and that is all that mattered to him. I found his equality amongst his children to be revered because he felt all three of them were deserving of love no matter what sex they are. Ziauddin Yousafzai is a remarkable man and I felt inspired by his character and love. My favorite line about him is after Malala gets shot and she is talking about when he came to her in the hospital:
“My daughter, you are my brave daughter, my beautiful daughter,” he said over and over, kissing my forehead and cheeks and nose (pg 246).
And then a few lines below that:
“Seeing me like that was the worse thing that had ever happened to him. All children are special to their parents, but to my father I was his universe (pg 246).”
The infinite bond shared between Malala and her father was a shining star in this story that is surrounded by hate and death.
I knew very little about Malala or Pakistan before I read this book and after reading it, I am grateful that I did. I did not know about the struggle these girls faced just to get an education. I did not know about any of the hardships they endured just because they are female. I did not know about the school bombings or the deaths or all of the “laws” brought down by the hidden cowards of the Taliban. I simply did not know. This is precisely one of the reasons I wanted to read this book, I knew I would learn something. What I did not realize is that I would learn a lot more than “something.”
The most inspiring part of Malala’s story is that she never gave up. She was a fifteen year old girl who was shot in the head for being outspoken about educating all people and it never stopped her determination. Her physical body was broken and bruised but her brave and fighting soul would never be broken. Malala fights for those who do not have a voice. She fights for those who are scared or oppressed by culture. She fights so that future generations will get the education they deserve. She fights because she is a fighter. My favorite line is from her speech at the U.N. in 2013 and has become her official tagline for all that she believes. It is…
“Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
Malala Yousafzai changes the world in profound ways every day. She is truly an inspiration to people all over the world.