Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban


Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb (Contrib.)

Category: Memoir

Synopsis: Yousafzai recounts her life, the events leading up to her assassination attempt, and leaving Pakistan for medical care and asylum.

Date finished: 21 February 2014   

Rating: ****

I’ve read scores of books about Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, etc. They all blur together at this point. They are all heartbreaking and they all leave you feeling lucky for what you have and sorrowful for what others don’t.

There isn’t much to say for this book that I haven’t said for other books from this area of the world. This is by no means the best, nor my favorite, of the books of this genre, but it was worth the read. Unfortunately, it won’t be the last of these books published, either. It would seem that until things change in the hearts of the men in this area of the world, the women and girls will suffer.

This is one of the few books of its ilk that seemed to distrust the United States. Yousafzai seems to posit that the unfortunate drone killings of innocents were not accidents at all. How can Pakistanis trust that leader after leader will deliver them from the Taliban but have no trust in the United States? With no help from the western world, it will be up to them to fight for change, and when one half of your population is not allowed to leave the house, what kind of change will you bring about, at what cost, and how long will it take?

While this book has an extra tug at your heartstrings because it was authored by a girl who suffered a Talib bullet, it didn’t quite measure up to others. Or perhaps I’m getting inured to the whole genre.

I do think it would do well to be required reading in high schools, to present our apathetic youth with a global perspective.

Would you recommend this to a friend?
Yes, if it is their first book on the subject of women in this part of the world.

You might also enjoy:
The Favored Daughter: One Woman’s Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future by Fawzia Koofi, Nadene Ghouri
Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez and Kristin Ohlson
Zoya’s Story: An Afghan Woman’s Struggle for Freedom by John Follain and Rita Cristofari


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