So I’m procrastinating…again.
I’m supposed to be reading a non-fictional book for class so that I can complete my first assignment – a book analysis. Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve gone back to study. Can I really be bothered with the pressure? I’m too old for pressure, I try to convince myself…
I’m meant to start formulating, planning, reading, analysing….but no, I’ve decided to have coffee with my housemates instead (which is actually really great, since we don’t know each other that well, as I’ve only just moved in). I have to say though that it’s a useful way of procrastinating since relationship building is a positive and constructive thing…Excuses can sometimes be a blessing? I continue to procrastinate, I clean the dishes, clean my room and now…I’m on the computer writing what is really quite unnecessary. I’m stating the obvious (in my world that is), procrastination has one over me.
So let me just give you a little run-down of my chosen book (This might actually help me straighten out my thoughts and prepare me for the actual analysis). Have you heard about a young girl named Malala? She is a Pakistani girl, who in October 2012, almost lost her life when shot by the Taliban on her way to school. At only 15 years of age, she was an advocate for education of girls in Pakistan. But the Taliban, knowing her father was a well-known campaigner for Education, targeted young Malala, and “shot her in the head at point-blank range…she was not expected to survive”.
Since then she has been “nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded the National Peace Prize in Pakistan, shortlisted for the Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, and has received many other international peace Prizes”.
“I am Malala” is a story of a young girl who fought for what she believed in, and has inspired many in the Western world since then. Although her story is amazing, the book itself wasn’t necessarily written with the smoothest narrative.
The book was ghostwritten by Christina Lamb, a well-known International Political Journalist. In the beginning of the book it is her voice that comes through clearly, not necessarily Malala’s. A little further on, I felt it was Malala’s father who was talking. Malala refers quite a lot to her father – they obviously have a very strong bond with one another – especially at the beginning of the text, which was quite frustrating when I wanted to find out more about Malala as a child, and what it may have been like for her to live in Pakistan at age seven, eight, nine… Perhaps a more ‘detailed’ description of a day where she was part of a family gathering, or perhaps a school day, would have sufficed. There was also probably a little bit too much specific information regarding different political groups and events that were happening. I ended up just wanting to get to the day of the shooting.
As Malala was still a young girl at the time of her shooting, and even by the time she had moved to England, I sometimes wondered if the passion for women and education, was just ‘her’ parroting her father’s own passions. My theory however, was disproved, when I watched a number of You-Tube videos of her in interviews with various talk shows. Her passion came through quite clearly and autonomously. Even as a now 16 year old. I guess when you have been brought up in such an unstable environment you learn to grow up quickly.
Personally I have come to really appreciate this book, however, unfortunately Malala seems to have unwittingly turned many of her own people in Pakistan against her. According to comments made to online publications, including the The New York Times, she had “shed Pakistan in a negative light”, and in due course it seemed she became the West’s puppet, to promote democracy, women’s rights for education, and other campaigns that according to the East, was against Islam.
Whatever your thoughts of “I am Malala” however, it is sure to spur on group discussions and political interests. We must remember, that Malala, as young as she is, has experienced an extremely traumatic incident. Anyone in her shoes, in the Western world, would require ongoing counselling, I’m sure. However, Malala seems to be taking it all in her stride, as though she is fully prepared for the worst possible outcome. “I am not afraid to die”, she said in one of her many interviews. Her boldness, her courage, her faith, her passion, her determination and love for her country are obvious. This makes her a girl worth taking note of. In fact, this gives hope to many women, that one day, life may be different because of the courage of one woman. Perhaps this is, as Malala says, what the Taliban was so scared of.
As I write this in my small office, I get that deep sense appreciation for my own life and circumstances. I sit back in my chair, and am quickly reminded of the peace that surrounds me. The smell of – another – good coffee, the gently swaying trees, the colourful flowers, the laughing children that go to the school just across the road. They are just a few things I’m thankful for. If only life could be this simple, and this good for everyone.