Thursday, January 14, 2021

Reading World Tour: Pakistan

Reading World Tour - Book 1
Country: Pakistan
Book: I Am Malala
Author: Malala Yousafzai
Genre: Nonfiction (Memoir)

This was an absolutely fascinating and inspiring story.  Malala is a strong and important voice for education (especially for girls) in her country and in the world.  She began speaking out at a very young age and was targeted by the Taliban for using her voice.  

This book begins with the shooting and then goes back in time to her birth, telling her story as only she can.  

Several things struck me while listening to the audiobook.  The first was how very different her early life was from mine, but how similar too.  The conversations and competitions between the girls at her school were very much the same.  The customs and rules were very different.  I enjoyed hearing about the everyday details of her life and her family, especially the parts that were so different.  I cannot even imaging living in such circumstances, but what really struck me were the moments of joy she found even in the difficulties.  And her determination to live and learn and dream and achieve.  What an inspiration! 

I love that she has continued her work and there is even a way that we can help with her mission, by donating to the Malala Fund. This organization helps create safe spaces for girls in northern Nigeria,  train young Pakistani women as activists and provide STEM education to Syrian refugees.

I hadn't planned on starting with Pakistan.  I didn't really have a plan.  My order will be determined by availability of books, for the most part.  I have a few on my Kindle waiting for me and some are on hold at the library.  This audiobook happened to be available to borrow on the Libby App, so I started with it.  I'm so glad I did, because I feel like it was a great place to start.  A story about a girl who stands up for education and is shot by the Taliban being the first book to read for a project that is meant to broaden one's perspective by reading books from other countries?  Perfect.  

A little bit about Malala from Wikipedia:
Malala Yousafzai (Pashto pronunciation: [məˈlaːlə jusəf ˈzəj];[3] born 12 July 1997),[1][3][4] often referred to mononymously as Malala, is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.[5] She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Pakistani Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has grown into an international movement, and according to former Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, she has become "the most prominent citizen" of the country.[6]

A little information about Pakistan from Wikitravel: 
Pakistan (Urdu: پاکستان) is a large country (1.5 times the size of France) in South Asia at the crossroads of Central AsiaEast Asia and South Asia. Located along the Arabian Sea, it is surrounded by Afghanistan to the west and northwest, although Tajikistan is separated by the Wakhan CorridorIran to the southwest and also shares maritime boundary with Oman, The Republic of India is to the east, and China to the northeast. It is strategically located astride the ancient trade routes of the Khyber and Bolan passes between the countries of South-Central Asia and rest of Southern Asia.


There are many other options for Pakistan, and I will likely grab a few from this list to read when I have a chance.  I've been wanting to read I Am Malala for some time now and I'm so glad I did.  I highly recommend this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot from her perspective.

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