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TitleI am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education
TagsEditor'S Picks Most Popular Academic & Education Spiritualty
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Total Pages195
Table of Contents
Title Page
Prologue: The Day my World Changed
A Daughter Is Born
My Father the Falcon
Growing up in a School
The Village
Why I Don’t Wear Earrings and Pashtuns Don’t Say Thank You
Children of the Rubbish Mountain
The Mufti Who Tried to Close Our School
The Autumn of the Earthquake
Radio Mullah
Toffees, Tennis Balls and the Buddhas of Swat
The Clever Class
The Bloody Square
The Diary of Gul Makai
A Funny Kind of Peace
Leaving the Valley
The Valley of Sorrows
Praying to Be Tall
The Woman and the Sea
A Private Talibanisation
Who is Malala?
‘God, I entrust her to you’
Journey into the Unknown
‘The Girl Shot in the Head, Birmingham’
‘They have snatched her smile’
Epilogue: One Child, One Teacher, One Book, One Pen . . .
Important Events in Pakistan and Swat
A Note on the Malala Fund
Picture Section
Additional Credits and Thanks
Document Text Contents
Page 98

My father’s friend Ahmad Shah called it a ‘controlled peace, not a durable peace’. But gradually
people returned to the valley because Swat is beautiful and we cannot bear to be away from it for
Our school bell rang again for the first time on 1 August. It was wonderful to hear that sound and run
through the doorway and up the steps as we used to. I was overjoyed to see all my old friends. We
had so many stories from our time as IDPs. Most of us had stayed with friends or family but some had
been in the camps. We knew we were lucky. Many children had to have their classes in tents because
the Taliban had destroyed their schools. And one of my friends, Sundus, had lost her father, who had
been killed in an explosion.

It seemed like everyone knew I had written the BBC diary. Some thought my father had done it for
me but Madam Maryam, our principal, told them, ‘No. Malala is not just a good speaker but also a
good writer.’
That summer there was only one topic of conversation in my class. Shiza Shahid, our friend from
Islamabad, had finished her studies in Stanford and invited twenty-seven girls from the Khushal
School to spend a few days in the capital seeing the sights and taking part in workshops to help us get
over the trauma of living under the Taliban. Those from my class were me, Moniba, Malka-e-Noor,
Rida, Karishma and Sundus, and we were chaperoned by my mother and Madam Maryam.

We left for the capital on Independence Day, 14 August, and travelled by bus, everyone brimming
with excitement. Most of the girls had only ever left the valley when we became IDPs. This was
different and very much like the holidays we read about in novels. We stayed in a guesthouse and did
lots of workshops on how to tell our stories so people outside would know what was going on in our
valley and help us. Right from the first session I think Shiza was surprised how strong-willed and
vocal we all were. ‘It’s a room full of Malalas!’ she told my father.

We also had fun doing things like going to the park and listening to music, which might seem
ordinary for most people but which in Swat had become acts of political protest. And we saw the
sights. We visited the Faisal Mosque at the base of the Margalla Hills, which was built by the Saudis
for millions of rupees. It is huge and white and looks like a shimmering tent suspended between
minarets. We went on our first ever visit to the theatre to see an English play called

and had art classes. We ate at restaurants and had our first visit to a McDonald’s. There were
lots of firsts although I had to miss a meal in a Chinese restaurant because I was on a TV show called

. To this day I still haven’t got to try duck pancakes!
Islamabad was totally different to Swat. It was as different for us as Islamabad is to New York.

Shiza introduced us to women who were lawyers and doctors and also activists, which showed us
that women could do important jobs yet still keep their culture and traditions. We saw women in the
streets without purdah, their heads completely uncovered. I stopped wearing my shawl over my head
in some of the meetings, thinking I had become a modern girl. Later I realised that simply having your
head uncovered isn’t what makes you modern.

We were there one week and predictably Moniba and I quarrelled. She saw me gossiping with a
girl in the year above and told me, ‘Now you are with Resham and I am with Rida.’

Shiza wanted to introduce us to influential people. In our country of course this often means the
military. One of our meetings was with Major General Athar Abbas, the chief spokesman for the army
and its head of public relations. We drove to Islamabad’s twin city of Rawalpindi to see him in his

Page 194

Additional Credits and Thanks

Picture section
P4 © Copyright Justin Sutcliffe 2013.
P2 Kh Awais
P2 © Copyright Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera. Courtesy of Al Jazeera English (
P3 , P4 © Copyright University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. Used

with the kind permission of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
P5 © Copyright Justin Sutcliffe 2013.
P6 © UN Photo / Eskinder Debebe. Used with the kind permission of the United Nations Photo

© UN Photo / Rick Bajornas. Used with the kind permission of the United Nations Photo

P8 © Antonio Olmos 2013.

With grateful thanks to:
The Jinnah Archive ( for the use of selections from the work of Quaid-i-

Azam M.A. Jinnah.
Rahmat Shah Sayel for use of his poems.
For help with the translations of from Pashto, thanks to my father’s friends Mr Hamayun

Masaud, Mr Muhammad Amjad, Mr Ataurrahman and Mr Usman Ulasyar.

Page 195


A Weidenfeld & Nicolson ebook

First published in Great Britain in 2013
by Weidenfeld & Nicolson

This ebook first published in 2013
by Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Copyright © 2013 by Salarzais Limited
Map © John Gilkes 2013

The right of Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted in
accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or
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subsequent purchaser.

The author and the publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this book is correct. The events,
locales and conversations are based on the author’s memories of them, and any unwitting errors that may appear in the
book are the author’s own. Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

For additional copyright information, please see the page

Every effort has been made to fulfil requirements with regard to reproducing copyright material. The author and publisher
will be glad to rectify any omissions at the earliest opportunity.

A CIP catalogue record for this book
is available from the British Library.

ISBN: 978 0 297 87091 3

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