Commuter Reads: I am Malala

This semi-autobriography follows the life of Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head at point-blank range by the Taliban and survived. It also follows the life and birth of Pakistan as we know it and presents a view of Pakistan from a young girl’s point of view; a young girl who loves her country but knows it has been damaged and disfigured by politics, corruption and war.

If you are the sort of person who watches the news and sees the development of the conflict and discontent in Pakistan but don’t quite understand it’s roots, this is a story you need to read.

Malala, with the help of Christina Lamb, a well-known foreign correspondent, tells the story of her country, not in bland, historic, political terms, and neither in a biased, preaching way. She simply tells the story and the history and Pakistan and it’s internal and international relationships that have led to its state today.

Alongside the bigger picture of Pakistan, the book also tells the story of Malala’s life and her development as the voice for women and girls’ rights in Pakistan, particularly for their right to education. With the astonishing support of her father, you see the development of a modern Pakistani girl who loves the beauty of the country but can see its flaws and saw her friends and neighbours be corrupted by the Taliban forces as they took absolute control of her country.

Although I’m not usually a fan of autobiographies, this felt like so much more. The beautiful language and descriptions of another culture made it almost fictional, but the historical and current international relations mean that this is a very important book for everyone to read as it is informative in an easy, storytelling way.

The final aspect of this book that I loved so much was the feminism. It is an important insight into a culture which treats women so differently to ours and where women’s rights are still very much the exception rather than the norm. It is also an important lesson in how all it takes is one girl, or one woman, to initiate change and a huge global initiative – as Malala has done.

For more information about Malala and the Malala fund visit –
https://www.malala.org

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