Malala Yousafzai was just 15 years old when she was shot in the head by the Taliban. The article “The Bravest Girl in the World” by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb was presented in the December 9, 2013 issue of the upfront magazine. The article explained that the Taliban imposed harsh laws in the Pakistan region-including the banning of schooling for girls. Malala Yousafzai and her father defied those laws and spoke out about every girl’s right to attend school. Their defiance earned them many admirers and enemies. One day, while she was returning home from school, she was shot by the Taliban. She survived the attack and has become more famous-enabling her to spread her message to the entire world.
I am honestly appalled at how a girl going to school is such a big deal in Pakistan. I completely agree with Malala and her dad, girls have the right to have an education and they should be treated equally to boys. I feel this way because education is empowering and can help girls and boys alike to grow up and achieve their dreams- why would anyone want to smash a young girl’s dream? Reading this story really makes you count your blessings and be thankful to have the privilege of going to school without worrying about your brains being blown out.
I can connect to this situation because I’m a girl, the main character is also a girl, and we have both been against sexism at one point of our lives. The only reason they had for opposing her learning was that she was a girl. If it were a boy, they wouldn’t have cared one bit about him learning. There are some things that I haven’t been allowed to do simply because I was a girl. (Paintballing is the only thing I can think of at the moment but I know there were more occasions.) Thankfully, it’s not to the extreme point of not being allowed to go to school. However, I remember a few years ago my sister wanted to go away to college and all my relatives disapproved because “she’s a girl and shouldn’t go away by herself.” My dad still let her go and she happily went to college, got her bachelor’s degree, and is now working on receiving her Master’s degree.
The writer communicated her message effectively by using narration. She told us what happened as if it were a story- she was also very descriptive. I noticed that the writer utilized similes; “that doorway was like a magical entrance”; epithets “Bhai Jan, or ‘brother'”; and dialogue in the article. The use of these devices helped me understand the story better and made the article more interesting.
Why do the Taliban despise the thought of women learning? Is it because they are afraid that it’s one step closer to equality? Was the gunman ever identified? After a bit of research, I found out that 10 men were arrested in connection to the shooting. Because of this tragedy, I think that laws that protect school children should be implemented. A law should be made against stopping in the middle of the road for random strangers- especially if they have half their face covered. Also, I believe that the best way to respond to this is to have ALL the girls go to school with protection. That way, the chance of another tragedy happening is alleviated.
Yousafzai, Malala, and Christina Lamb. “The Bravest Girl in the World.” _The New York Times_
_Upfront_ 9 Dec. 2013: 12-15. Print.