I Am Malala

The inspiring memoir that highlights the importance of educated women

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“I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai (2013)

The world has felt the astonishing impact of educated women. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been praised for her strides in eradicating community transmission of COVID-19 in her country. More women are holding positions of power in large corporations. On a smaller scale, if girls ages 10 through 14 are provided an education, their community will flourish. Many women have been fighting for the right for women worldwide to gain an education. One popular story of activism is that of  Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban on a school bus heading home from school. The life-changing incident, described in Yousafzai’s memoir, reflects the desire of women around the world to gain an education to help them excel.

The memoir presents an unconventional, yet motivating coming-to-age tale, set in the tumultuous Pakistani political realm. Yousafzai describes the Taliban’s haunting occupation and how it has impacted her teenage years, putting the reader in a place to imagine having their peak growth years being stripped away from them. While recounting the horrors of her childhood, Yousafzai provides a window into her native Pashtun culture. 

The title of Yousafzai’s memoir rings true. Her authentic voice shines through in her memoir, as she talks excitedly about her friends, going to school, and spending time with her family. Yousafzai keeps up her image as an average teenage girl by opening up about what she prides herself on, as well as her insecurities. 

As much as Yousafzai reflects on her own life and accomplishments, she also pays homage to the role Yousafzai’s father has played in her life. She praises him for instilling a love for education in her and the confidence to fight for her right to education. Watching her father run a school for both boys and girls, lead an environmental movement, and risk his own life to uplift his ideals has been the driving force for her activism. Her tenacity is all thanks to her father’s advocacy for girls’ education and women’s rights. 

The book is a worthwhile read for any advocate for women’s rights and anyone curious about the life of women in the Middle East. This story will give a close-up view of this remarkable young woman, who’s contributions to the world are just beginning.