No one answered. There was only one girl with her face not covered. He lifted a pistol and shot her in the face.
Within hours, many people around the world would know who Malala was—and is, thankfully, because she lived. Now still only sixteen years old, for years she has been speaking up against the Taliban, particularly against their repressive view that girls and women should not be educated.
This book, I AM MALALA, answers that thug’s question, but it is equally about the horrors of the Taliban and how they have to a large degree swallowed Pakistan and neighboring areas. One reason they have become so dominant (aside from their apparently limitless supply of weapons) is that they tend to go into places and destroy all access to outside media—trashing TVs, closing DVD stores, etc.—and then pitch their own views on the radio. And then poor, uneducated, fearful people become indoctrinated.
For anyone who thinks that education (or rather, the lack thereof) is not a factor that causes economic, political, and military problems, Malala’s story makes clear exactly what is going on over there and why we will continue to face an endless supply of ruthless terrorists until this situation is addressed.
When you see the challenges that she and so many other girls and women in Pakistan encounter, you also realize how incredibly brave she is to speak up. So many adults have been killed for saying less.
But they didn’t get her. And in July of 2013, having recovered her voice, she spoke again, before the United Nations delegation. Watch this, and tell me if you don’t weep.
Bravo, Malala! Bravo!