I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

Learn, in this summary, about the incredible story of the girl who fought against fear and defended the right of girls to education.

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Do you know the story of the young Malala? The girl suffered an attempt on her life because she defended the right of girls to go to school and to have the freedom to exercise a function in society, that is, to have a profession.

It seems like a reality far away and from past centuries, doesn't it? But Malala was born in 1997.

Have you ever thought about how much struggle there was (especially if you are a woman) for you to occupy the position you have today? Many people still don't have opportunities that are seen as simple for most of us.

Are you curious to know how this story develops? Keep reading the book summary of "I am Malala"!

The book “I am Malala”

The book “I am Malala”, 2003, was written by Malala Yousafzai.

This autobiography is the story of the girl’s childhood and her family, showing the differences in life before, during and after the Taliban occupation in her country.

Who is Malala Yousafzai?

The Pakistani Malala was born in July 1997 and was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, at the age of 16.

Malala was the victim of an attempted murder in 2012, when the Taliban tried to silence her discourse that all girls had a right to education and knowledge along with their place in society.

After the attack, Malala was taken to England, where she managed to recover, publish this book and continue her fight.

As it is a biographical work, all the details about the author will be presented during the analysis.

Why should I read “I am Malala”?

The book “I am Malala” is suitable for education professionals and all people who wish to understand and learn from Malala’s story, life and struggle about:

Besides, the book is also a good request for people who want to understand a little bit more Pakistani culture and people.

What can I learn from “I am Malala”?

  • It is noticeable the proportion that a terrorist group can have. A group like the Taliban can transform a peaceful place into a totally different one, which is terrifying and devastating; 
  • There are still societies that have a very strong culture of inequality between men and women;
  • There are still places where women are considered useful only for marital status, home organization and motherhood. And in many situations, they are used as currency and objectified;
  • In some places, it is still considered an offense for women to have the desire to study, travel, wear ornaments, makeup, as well as to exert some professions and positions in society;
  • The power of a family structure that, regardless of the surrounding culture or any other factor, can forever change the life of a child and even a nation.

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[Book Summary] I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

How was the life of this young Pakistani woman?

Malala exposes details of her life before the Taliban invaded Swat, the city where she grew up and lived.

In this first part of the book “I am Malala”, the author describes her childhood experiences, talking about her great relationship with her parents, and raising some questions about the culture and religion in which she lived.

She mentions an episode that she experienced and marked her life: when she was a little girl, she found children in a landfill and asked her father, who worked in a school, to give each of them a place and an opportunity to study.

Malala argued that those children could not afford education, but were as worthy as any other child to receive it.

Through this small example we can see the beginning of Malala's struggle and her non-conformity with social inequality.

How did the Taliban change Malala’s life?

The second part of the book is considered devastating. Malala reports the arrival of the Taliban in Swat Valley. The author says that, from the very beginning, the leaders of the terrorist organization began to set new rules, and spread their teachings through a radio station, the Mullah FM.

In addition, after the arrival of the group, terrorism began to be practiced against the population. Malala says that the terrorists prohibited women from going to school and markets, for example. And they also declared that men were forbidden to cut their beards and that if this was not obeyed, they would be punished.

She still says that one of the terrorist leaders, Fazlullah, began to propagate the prohibition of the use of TVs and CDs and, as a result, began to burn them in the squares.

According to Malala, the situation was beyond the control of the authorities and, when they realized it, the Taliban members were exposing the bodies of all those who did not obey the extremist group in the squares.

What happened to Malala?

After so many deaths, terror gave a “truce”. Malala and her family, who had left the village of Swat, returned to continue their work.

When she arrived in the village again, she said she found the school built by her father with various Taliban marks.

At that time, Malala says that her friends began to be given for marriage, so she started to question the fact that such young friends, around 13 years old, were forced to leave school to take care of their husbands.

Even with her questioning and uncommon profile, Malala continued her studies and kept fighting against the prohibition of education for women in her country, thus contravening the rules of the Taliban.

Because of it, the Taliban tried to stop Malala from continuing her fight. This way, one day returning from school, she was shot in the head by the terrorist group.

How did Malala survive?

In the fourth part of the book, Malala reports the details from the moment she was shot, to the moment she was transferred to a hospital in Birmingham, England.

Most of the facts exposing her clinical situation come from the details given by her parents, since she spent a lot of time unconscious.

Because of the attack, the world became aware of the existence of Malala and the terror that the Taliban had established in Pakistan.

With all the repercussions of the story, the army transferred her to England to receive a proper treatment. The girl had to go alone to another country, because her parents feared leaving their children in Pakistan, since the whole family was still at risk.

What does Malala fight for?

In the final chapters she tells the story of her difficult recovery, her emotional reunion with her family in England, and her change of life after the repercussion of her history. As a result, Malala achieved worldwide recognition for her exciting experience.

In 2014, because of her engaging in fighting for women’s right to education she received the Nobel Prize of Piece.

Today, she is a symbol of the women's fight for gender equality and gives lectures all over the world.

Books about about inspiring women

In the book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg presents some challenges she faced to conquer prominent positions at work, in addition to raising the discussion of the gender issue based on academic research and personal observations. Thus, she proposed reflections to encourage women to fight for their dreams.

The book Brave, not Perfect, from Reshma Saujani, addresses the problem of how girls learn from an early age to be perfectionists and afraid of failure, rather than being courageous, and assesses the consequences of this later in life.

Finally, in Becoming, we will learn from the story of a woman who faced challenges as she overcame her fear of being in a place that was not her own. Michelle Obama will show you that persistence is the key to success and that continuing to fight for what you believe in in a hostile environment is challenging, but rewarding.

How can I apply the ideas from “I am Malala”?

Malala’s story certainly opens new doors for us to fight for women’s rights. In addition, other relevant points to apply in your life are:

  • Think about the privileges you have and be grateful for them;
  • Always remember the importance of women in society;
  • Fight for equal rights;
  • Keep in mind that no matter how hard it is sometimes to be on the right side, you will always have support;
  • Always seek to improve the society in which you are inserted.

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Book I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai