‘I am Malala’; the book that changed my life

I am Malala; the book that changed my life

Lauren Conroy, Staff Writer

I am Malala is the memoir of Malala Yousafzai, a teenage girl from Pakistan. It tells the story of the challenges she faces living under Taliban rule. It’s genuine storytelling and candid approach to the situation leaves readers feeling personally connected to the situation. Malala is a wonderful narrator; her writing invites you into her life and leaves you feeling impacted.

The story follows the life of Malala and her family. Malala was born and raised in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. She attended the school her father founded along with many of the community’s girls. But when the Taliban entered the valley things became very difficult for them. The Taliban considered girl’s education “haram” (prohibited) and threatened anyone who defied them. Malala’s father, a political activist, and Malala spoke out against the issue. They met with government officials, foreign ambassadors and community members about pursuing the girl’s education.  This blatant defiance of the militant group drove them to shoot Malala on her ride home from school.

Pakistan’s unhygienic hospital systems were not acceptable for Malala’s fragile state, so she was forced to be airlifted into the safety of England. Since this trip, she has been unable to return to her beloved homeland. But the seven emergency surgeries and loss of home were not enough to silence Malala. To this day, she remains a political activist speaking up for women’s rights. In fact, just last week she became the youngest recipient to win the Nobel peace prize.

Malala’s story takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. I was devastated to hear about the death of her community members, I was overjoyed at the overthrowing of the Taliban and my heart was broken at the news of Malala’s attempted assassination. Ultimately, I walked away feeling changed. Never again will I take my freedom of speech for granted. Never again will I take for granted the education I receive. And forever will I remember the lesson that I am Malala taught me; never be afraid to speak up for what you believe in.