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The novel I Am Malala tells the story of a young woman named Yousafzai Malala. The book follows Malala as she grows up and becomes a global figure with her activism. Many patterns emerge in the novel at various points of Malala's life. Among the novel's key themes are women's rights, the power of education, Islamic rules and their implementation in daily life, the search for unity, and conservatism (Khoja-Moolji 67). These themes are increasingly formed throughout the story with the use of various literary devices. Repetition, character development, personification, setting, onomatopoeia, symbolism, metaphor, and figurative language are some of the literary devices which are used to develop the themes. Notably, the theme of women's right is extensively emphasized in the novel. The novel shows how Malala struggles to ensure women's right is protected and women enjoy privileges like other people in the society.
Malala developed a passion and interest in education at a very tender age. This was majorly because her father Ziauddin Yousafzai owned a local school and was a teacher there. During her young age, her father motivated her about the importance of school a factor which made her want to become a doctor in future. In a flashback, we can see Malala recalling how she used to perform in class when she started school (Yousafzai 2). Certainly, she was very smart, and she managed to take the first position in exams. She had a best friend by the name Moniba who also was also bright, and she always became top three. Malka-e-Noor, a girl in Malala's class, was hardworking and could from time to time appear among the top students in the class. This made Malala believe that just like a boy-child, a girl child had similar abilities and potential. This realization played a huge role in shaping her perspective of gender equality in the society.
Her activism life began in 2007 after the Taliban; an Islamic fundamentalist group attacked Swat Valley her village. Apparently, this attack completely changed the course in which life was taking. This fundamentalist group took control of the region and put laws which everyone in the locality had to follow. The Taliban destroyed over 400 schools and banned girls from attending school. On the same note, girls were banned from watching television and participating in some cultural activities such as dancing. Women were also supposed to dress in a way that they were fully covered (Khoja-Moolji 128). For Malala the issue of banning women to attend school was baseless. She did not imagine her life without school and the fact that in her class the top positions were taken by girls she saw the law as discriminative. It is clear that reality unraveled to Malala when she found out how women were viewed by the society. She was highly disappointed by how women were viewed and this prompted her to start her struggle to get an education and enable other women to get an education.
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The attack and the subsequent enforcement of the laws by Fazlullah who was the head of the fundamentalists made many families evacuate fro, Swat Valley. Malala's father was brave, and a man of his principles and this made her stay in the region. He strongly criticized the incidence and the laws enforced by the Taliban. On seeing this, Malala gradually gained courage and joined his father in criticizing the events which were taking place in Swat Valley. The main reason for their critic was the banning of the girl child from getting the education. Malala and her father organized crusades and publicly criticized Talibanization (Ryder 177). They moved to different places in the town and villages, and they addressed all crowds they met about Sharia laws, the banning of education and other forms of discrimination that some people were facing in the society due to natural differences. In their campaigns, they put more emphasis on the right to education for everyone.
Their crusades became notable in Swat Valley a factor that made them invited for interviews in Televisions and radios. "How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?" Malala once questioned on Live Pakistani Television. She gradually began looking for other methods to pass her message and campaign for equal rights and the right for women getting an education. She began blogging and anonymously posting articles which criticized the sections of the Sharia law which banned women education in British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) (Tolentino, Uhl, and Iftikhar 19). Her stories about her life in Swat valley after the attack and her desire to get education touched many people who apparently joined hands and supported her by sharing her blogs.
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In 2009, the situation at Swat valley worsened as the Taliban joined hands with the police in enforcing the laws which they believed to be from the Qur'an. With her family, they became internally displaced people. Malala wrote a blog entitled "I am afraid," where she expressed her fear in what was taking place in her home and her fear in attending school because of the situation. After some months, Malala and her family went back to Swat Valley. They continued with their campaigns, and this made them be known by the entire nation. Malala wrote many blogs in 2009 to 2011 regarding the right of women to be educated (Khoja-Moolji 362). In 2011, she was a nominee for the award of International Children's Peace. Also, in the same year, she emerged the winner of Pakistan's National Youth Peace Prize.
Apparently, not everyone celebrated Malala's achievements as she was shot while in a bus on October 9, 2012, by the Taliban while in a bus. She was taken to a Military hospital and later in Birmingham for quality treatment. After weeks of treatment, she recovered and continued her campaigns for the right of education. It is notable that after she was shot, news about her was greatly aired globally a factor that made her receive massive support from all over the world (Yousafzai 6). In 2013, she published her book "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban." The book emphasizes on the right for education among women. In 2014 Malala began her organization called the Malala Fund. She has gradually received many sponsors throughout the world. This has enabled her to travel in various countries such as Jordan, Nigeria, Kenya and other countries to give talks to girls about their right. The Malala Fund has become a big organization which has sponsored many girls and empowered many women to explore their potential. Reportedly, Malala won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize making her the youngest winner to receive the award.
In conclusion, Malala has significantly contributed in fighting for women's rights not only in Pakistan but globally. Despite her young age and gender, she has struggled to ensure that she enjoys the right to education, and so are other girls who are denied this privilege. It is evident that her father played a big role in making her an activist. Her father showed her that education was key to life and everyone in the society had the right to education. She taught her to believe in herself and supported her during her campaigns. On the same note, her academic performance and that of her friends Malka-e-Noor and Moniba made her believe that girls had the same potentials as boys and therefore should be allowed the right to education. The fact that even after she was shot, she did not give up her mission made her receive massive support from all over the world. This, in turn, made her more vocal in fighting for women's rights.
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Khoja-Moolji, Shenila. "Reading Malala (De)(Re) Territorialization of Muslim Collectivities." Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 35.3 (2015): 539-556. Available at: http://cssaame.dukejournals.org/content/35/3/539.short. Retrieved 10/10/2017.
Ryder, Phyllis Mentzell. "Beyond critique: Global activism and the case of malala yousafzai." Literacy in Composition Studies 3.1 (2015): 175-187. Available at: http://www.licsjournal.org/OJS/index.php/LiCS/article/download/74/96. Retrieved 10/10/2017.
Tolentino, Efleda P., J. O. Uhl, and Iftikhar Ahmad. "The Nobel Peace Prize: Malala, A Girl Determined to Go to School." Social Education 79.1 (2015): 18-21.
Yousafzai, Malala. I am Malala: The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban. Hachette UK, 2013. Available at: https://www.hachette.co.uk/assets/HachetteGroup/OrionPublishingGroup/downloads/Extracts/Malala-by-Malala-Yousafzai-and-Patricia-McCormick-extract-indigo.pdf. Retrieved 10/10/2017.
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