‘I Am Malala’ touches the world with inspiring story
By Megan Platt
A year after her near-fatal encounter with a Taliban gunman, Malala Yousafzai continues to campaign for every person’s right to an education. With the release of her biography “I Am Malala” Oct. 8, Malala reignited the fight for educational equality and opportunity around the world.
“Let us pick up our books and our pens; they are the most powerful weapons,” said Malala in her speech to the United Nations July 12.
In her biography, Malala tells stories of growing up under the rule of the Taliban, but she also relays her natural tone to readers through relatable topics.
“The book reveals a girl who likes ‘Ugly Betty’ and the cooking show ‘Masterchef,’ worries about her clothes and her hair, but also has an iron determination that comes from experience beyond her 16 years,” said AP reporter Jill Lawless.
Malala’s heart wrenching and inspiring memoir reveals the young girl’s courage and determination to change the world.
She began her crusade for educational freedom in 2009, when the Taliban banned girls from going to school in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. At that time, she volunteered to write an anonymous blog for the BBC about her life under the Taliban, understanding the dangers that could arise.
In 2012, Malala was discovered as the writer of the blog, for which she had been writing under a pseudonym, and identified as a target by the Taliban.
She vividly describes being confronted by a Taliban gunman while riding home on a school bus:
“I was the only girl with my face not covered. He lifted up a black pistol, a Colt .45. Some of the girls screamed, and Moniba tells me I squeezed her hand. The man fired three shots. The first went through my left eye socket and out under my left shoulder. I slumped forward on to Moniba, blood coming from my left ear, so the other bullets hit those near to me.”
The now 16-year-old Malala has become famous for overcoming her attempted assassination and for continuing her political activism. She recently became the youngest person nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Though she wasn’t selected as this year’s winner, Malala remains hopeful that her future endeavors will leave an indelible mark on society.
“The real call, the most precious call, that I want to get and for which I’m thirsting and for which I want to struggle hard, that is the award to see every child to go to school, that is the award of peace and education for every child,” Malala told CNN. “And for that, I will struggle and I will work hard.”
Now residing in England, Malala has devoted much of her fame to promoting “The Malala Fund,” a charity dedicated to supporting education for girls around the world.
“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced,” said Malala in her biography.
Visit malalafund.org to read more about Malala’s story or to donate to her fund for the education and empowerment of girls around the world.