- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 55 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 8, 2013
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00F9G4WEK
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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It's pretty emotional, hearing about how so many children in Pakistan are unable to be educated because their poor and/or female. I think it was very important of her to point out that the biggest issue with the ignorance there is because of this lack of education. These people are studying their holy text, but aren't understanding the words. That's something to be said of all religions. It's scary what happens when the uneducated come into power and twist a holy book to their desires. And knowing she stood up for her education despite the threats, she is amazing. Truly.
I introduced my 5 year old son to the story of Malala last year, we own a couple picture books about her. I wanted him to know how important it is for all people to be given the opportunity to be educated. Also, I want to raise him to understand that there is no type of person better than another - people of all races, religions, genders, etc. all deserve the same opportunities.
To me, the worst part of this was knowing there was a period of time when her father regretted letting her choose an education over her safety. I cannot even imagine the grief her parents went through.
I've been reading a lot of non fiction lately, and I've noticed there is a lot of rambling in them. This book didn't have that. It is a fascinating story and I am so glad she lived through being shot. I wish I could afford to go to her talk in Houston, I expect it is going to be great.
Malala writes, "'Why don't they want girls to go to school?' I asked my father. 'They are scared of the pen,' he replied" (pg. 118). Further, "The Taliban could take our pens and books, but they couldn't stop our minds from thinking" (pg. 146). Countering the Taliban's claim that education threatens their view of the world, Malala writes, "Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human" (pg. 162). She also articulates a place for women's rights in the Muslim world, writing, "...We want to make decisions for ourselves. We want to be free to go to school or to go to work. Nowhere is it written in the Quran that a woman should be dependent on a man. The word has not come down from the heavens to tell us that every woman should listen to a man" (pg. 219). Malala concludes, "Peace in every home, every street, every village, every country - this is my dream. Education for every boy and every girl in the world. To sit down on a chair and read my books with all my friends at school is my right. To see each and every human being with a smile of happiness is my wish" (pg. 313).
Though the basics of her story are well-known, everyone should read Malala's autobiography for the insight she offers into the role of geopolitics in creating an opportunity for the Taliban and other extremists to seize power. Education is the strongest weapon against them and knowledge of how they gained they power can be used to prevent it from happening again. All readers can learn from Malala's example and speak up for education and women's rights.
Malala's life is fascinating, even without her having been shot by the Taliban, although I imagine fewer people would care about her story without that detail (I know I never would have heard of her without it). I was astonished by the details about her homes and school. It seems like she was basically living in poverty, at least by American standards, but the way she talks about it, it seems like they were pretty well off by Pakistani standards. It was just a bit of a disconnect for me.
I was both intrigued and horrified by her account of how the Taliban took over her beloved Swat valley. I know that we Americans, in general, wonder what would make Muslims turn to and/or support the Taliban, but after reading Malala's account, it makes sense. I imagine if the government and Red Cross had ignored the needs of the residents of New Orleans after Katrian, and the Taliban came in with food, bottled water, and lumber to start repairing the damage for the poor most affected, you'd find a fair few of them supporting the Taliban today, too. Nowhere close to a majority, but enough that getting the Taliban out of New Orleans would be difficult, especially if the National Guard wasn't really trying. It's easy to criticize the Muslims that don't speak out against radical Islamic groups, but it's harder to do that when you put yourself in their shoes, like this book does.
Overall I give I am Malala 5 out of 5 stars.