In I Am Malala, The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani female education activist, recounts the Taliban takeover of Swat Valley. Through this moving memoir, Malala tells the story of her fight for education, and brings to light many issues that girls in Pakistan are currently facing today. In this story of sacrifice and heroism, Malala, through unrelenting determination, and courage in the face of dangerous opposition, helps to give so many young women like her a voice, and a hope for a better future.
The book begins with a very moving declaration of Malala’s love for her home country, then flashes back to the day that Malala describes as “the day everything changed” in the homeland that she held so dear. On that dreadful day, her fight against the Taliban’s oppression came to a dramatic climax, as she was shot in the head on her way to school.
As I read her story, I sincerely admired the way that Malala led and inspired others. I believe that what made Malala such a wonderful leader, and an ideal champion for the cause of young women’s education in her country, was her ability to deposit hope into the hearts and minds of those who had none, and afterwards, empower them to reach for success. She achieved this through teaching women to value themselves, their education, and their individual voice.
Despite death threats and many personal sacrifices, Malala bravely spoke out against the Taliban through a blog, a documentary, and in many interviews. To her, it was a fight that was absolutely necessary, and critical to the future of all women in her country. When the fight nearly cost her own life, rather than give up, she fought even harder, using the international recognition gained through her attempted assassination to expose the oppression of young women in Pakistan to the world.
This book was a compelling read, and deepened my appreciation for the freedoms that women in our country now have. Although there are an abundance of government and community based programs working to make education available for women all over the world, the reality is that significant impact in this area will only be made when more people, like Malala, recognize the gravity of the problem and take up the cause themselves. This book inspired me to become one such person.
Savannah McCauley is a sophomore student in the Honors Program, who is majoring in Accounting.