There will be a book in which Malala tells her own story published in the fall.
The memoir of 15-year-old Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai will be published this fall, publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson announced Wednesday. The deal is reportedly worth about $3 million.
Titled “I Am Malala,” the book will tell the story of the young advocate for women’s education who was shot in the face at point-blank range by Taliban gunmen on Oct. 9 in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
I’m assuming she has a co-author or ghost writer or some such, because that’s a very short time for publishing and she’s in school and has only just recovered from being shot in the head and is only 15 anyway. “Memoir” seems like the wrong word for that – but I don’t know, maybe it’s not. Anyway it doesn’t matter; it’s good that there will be such a book.
“I hope the book will reach people around the world, so they realize how difficult it is for some children to get access to education,” Malala said in a news release. “I want to tell my story, but it will also be the story of 61 million children who can’t get education. I want it to be part of the campaign to give every boy and girl the right to go to school. It is their basic right.”
That’s why it’s good that there will be such a book.
“This book will be a document to bravery, courage and vision,” Arzu Tahsin, deputy publishing director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, said in a statement. “Malala is so young to have experienced so much and I have no doubt that her story will be an inspiration to readers from all generations who believe in the right to education and the freedom to pursue it.”
It’s a struggle, promoting education for girls in places that are both impoverished and ferociously traditional.
An Afghan father of two young daughters, Saidal Pazhwak, works with Kissell’s group in Kabul. “I believe that education is a girl’s right,” he says, adding that many parents want to educate their daughters but lack either a safe environment or nearby schools to do so.
His mission, he says, is to train more teachers, especially female teachers. He says his group has helped train around 10,000 women teachers in Kabul in the past two years, with funding from the World Bank. He wants to see more women in government positions in remote areas as well, serving as role models.
There is a considerable way to go, says Sabatina James, a Pakistani-born activist who defied a forced marriage as a teen. When she refused to marry a cousin, she says, her parents threatened her life, telling her she had ruined the family honor. Now in her 30s, she hasn’t seen her family since. Today she lives in Germany, where her nonprofit group, Sabatina, rescues girls whose fathers try to force them to wed.
“In honor-based culture, people think that girls could become too independent and make their own choices if they educate themselves,” she says. “They are afraid what could happen if girls learn to read and write.”
Just as slaveowners in the South were afraid of what could happen if their slaves learned to read and write. That’s why it was a crime to teach a slave to read.
Meanwhile teachers are picked off, one at a time.
UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown has condemned the shooting of a female teacher in Pakistan on Tuesday as a “Malala-style” incident.
Shahnaz Bibi was shot dead on Tuesday by two motorbike riders as she disembarked from a passenger van near the school where she taught in the Khyber tribal region.
No memoir for her.