Yesterday a book was published called “I am Malala.” It’s the incredible story about an incredible young woman fighting for the rights of women, and for anyone who rights to education is being denied. Today I’d like to introduce you to her.
Here story began in 1997, when she was born to loving parents in a small town in Pakistan called Mingora. There she grew up with her two younger brothers, her parents, and two pet chickens.
She was educated mostly by her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, a poet, school owner, and an educational activist himself. He ran a group schools known as the Khushal Public School.
Thus Malala’s love for education began very young. It was like it was in her blood. As a young girl she told her father she wanted to be a doctor. But they would spend hours late into the nights talking about politics. He felt his daughter was truly something special and encouraged her to become a politician rather than a doctor.
Over the years of her childhood the Taliban at times prohibited girls from going to school. In late 2008, Malala started to speak about education rights when her father took her to Peshawar to speak to a local press club. The speech was covered by newspapers and television channels all over the region. Her question to her audience was “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?”
At the very beginning of 2009, Malala’s father was asked by a BBC reporter out of Pakistan if any women at his school would write about their life under the Taliban. Other students volunteered, but where quieted by their parents that feared for the lives of their families. Eventually, Ziauddin Yousafzai permitted his own daughter to agree to the project. She was in the seventh grade at the time. Fearing for her safety, the BBC editors insisted that she write under a pseudonym. They chose “Gul Makai” which means “cornflower” in Urdu and is the name of a character in a Pashtun folktale. Starting then, Gul Makai blogged for the BBC in opposition to the Taliban, drawing their militant rage.