What were you doing on October 9th, 2012?

P1020734-aMe? I was complaining about being back at work after an indulgent Thanksgiving, feeling as stuffed as the turkey I had eaten that weekend.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, fourteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was being shot in the head at point blank range on her daily journey home from school. Malala was targeted by the Taliban because she refused to let them take her right to education and her voice. Because she was a woman. Because she was a threat.

I am Malala is an insightful and revolutionary read from start to finish. It tells the first-hand story of this bright, young Pashtun girl, from her childhood in the Swat Valley (a valley which was later ravaged by terrorism) to her miraculous recovery and new life as a global ambassador for education. Despite the grievous nature of the subject, her courage, love and hope are detectable throughout the pages and help the reader to focus on the positive effects which have resulted from her brutal attack.

British journalist Christina Lamb OBE co-wrote the memoir after spending a year with Malala, helping her to relate her story to a global audience. Ghostwriting can often compromise authenticity but, it is important to note that this is not the case here: the young girl’s spirited voice remains vehement throughout.

The book is remarkably humbling, and as a young woman from a Western society, makes me very thankful for the opportunities I have had in my life. We are all guilty of taking things for granted, but sometimes it is important to step back and evaluate ourselves. Reading this book not only helped me to do that, but taught me a lot about Pashtun culture, oppression, and the intricacies of the global events of the early 21st century, bringing home the hard-hitting human cost of war.

People like Malala Yousafzai do not come along often. Having recently lost one of our world’s most important political voices of reason, Nelson Mandela, it is comforting to know that Malala is just beginning her journey. Her incredible story and relentless courage have rightfully given her a global platform to enforce political change; she has recently spoken at the United Nations assembly and is the youngest person ever to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. I am thoroughly convinced that she will change the world.

“When someone takes away your pens you realize quite how important education is.”

However, she will do this faster with our help so if you can, please donate to the Malala Fund at www.malalafund.org. and join her in speaking up for a future of equality and education.

Much Love,

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