Words of a world changer
I recently read the book, I Am Malala. It is an autobiography. Malala
is a world changer and this is her story. She is born in Pakistan,
Mingora and is a Pashtun from birth. She, unlike other girls, is very
lucky and has a very supportive father who owns a school.
Suddenly, a man named Fazlullah starts talking on the radio about
stopping girls from going to school, and keeping women at home. Then,
one day, when she sees children working at the garbage dump instead of
being at school, she realizes that she has to do something about it.
Malala and her school friends are always talking about what they heard
on the radio, and they get really scared when something even worse
Fazlullah forms the Taliban and starts doing bad things to women in
Afghanistan. He has now said that women should not be allowed out of the
house without a known male accompanying her. If they went out without a
male relative, or without wearing a proper burqa,he and his followers
would throw acid on their face! Malala gets even more upset, and when
she sees that the Taliban have come to Mingora and are putting banners
up which stop women from leaving their homes without a male. She begins
to talk to God and asks Him about how she can help.
Conversing with God
One day, Malala wakes up and has an idea. She will ignore the chat
about the Taliban and instead talks about the things that girls her age
should be talking about: TV shows, friends, and plans for the weekend.
But now the Taliban is becoming even crueler: They sold women who don't
wear a burqa and beat-up men who refuse to accompany their wife and
daughter. Mingora was becoming an unsafe place!
One of Malala's father's friends on the BBC news channel, now wants a
girl to write a journal about the Taliban and how it affects her life.
Malala is keen and gets a pseudonym: Gul Makai - a Pashtun folktale
character. One day, Malala's father finds a note on the door of his room
"Close down this school or otherwise you know what we can do!"
Malala's father wrote back: "Please don't kill my students. You can hurt
me but not my students." By this point, Malala has had many interviews
and is given the chance to talk against the Taliban. She says that the
only thing she wants is for girls to have a right to learn, have a good
education, and grow up to be whatever they want to be.
Little did she know that the Taliban was hearing all this. Soon, she
became a target of the Taliban who followed her on her way home, and
shot her right near the brain. Malala declares that she doesn't remember
any of it: the shooting, bleeding, travelling to four different
hospitals. Instantly, Malala was moved from a hospital in Mingora to
Peshawar, and then to Rawalpindi. Finally, she ended up in the Queen
Elizabeth's Hospital in Birmingham. When Malala woke up, she couldn't
speak because there was a tube in her throat. She received a pink
notebook and a white teddy bear.
The pink notebook was to write whatever she could not say aloud, and
the teddy bear was to comfort her. Malala couldn't hear properly, was
seeing double, couldn't close her left eye, couldn't move her left hand,
and whenever she shook her head, had an intense pain.
After a long time in the hospital, she was a little bit stronger and
her sight was much better. The doctors inserted a small hearing device
in her ear so that she could hear better and she started to live in
Birmingham with her family.
One afternoon, in the middle of her physics lesson, the headmistress
called her outside and Malala thought 'what happened? Am I in trouble?'
In fact, she was not in trouble at all! She had won the Nobel Prize
along with one other man called Kailash Satyarthi.
That was when she realized how much her teachers in Birmingham cared
for her. They had tears in their eyes. Malala was invited to talk to the
whole school as well as the UN! Malala is still news channels and gives
speeches and interviews. What I like about the book: I was so hooked
that I finished it in one day! It is a very inspiring book to me.
I find it a co-incidence that the lesson Malala found in the Wizard
Of Oz book is the lesson that I found in this book: If you really want
to do something, you can - even with hurdles along your way.
Isn't it amazing how a child can have the courage to speak up against
such a powerful group, especially when her future is so unpredictable?
I think the hardest part of her life is was when the Taliban said
that they were forced to shoot her because she was speaking against
them. But in spite of her efforts, they continued not to let women do
have their own free will.