She is Malala

I wasn't planning to write this blog post, but as you're about to see, I felt I needed to.

I just finished I am Malala, the autobiography of Malala Yousafzai. If you've never heard of her, she's a Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for speaking out about female education, and one of my biggest role models. The entire book was utterly amazing, but one particular quote stuck with me:

"Back home I was considered a bookish girl because I had read eight or nine books. But when I came to the UK I met girls who had read hundreds of books. Now I realise I've read hardly anything at all and I want to read all those hundreds of books."
Malala Yousafzai, I am Malala

This suddenly made me realise: without an education, none of us would be able to read the books we love so much. We wouldn't be able to meet the characters that have become our friends, or hide in the settings that have become our homes. We wouldn't be able to read, and for me, that's a big part of my identity. 

What's amazing about Malala isn't just that she fights for her education - she really makes the most of it. You can see that from Malala's promise to read 'hundreds of books'. In Pakistan, it's traditional for women to ink flowers and birds onto their skin with henna, a paste that dries to look a bit like temporary tattoos. Malala and her friends would ink formulas and chemical elements all down their arms instead. She had a massive testing rivalry with another girl, Malka-e-Noor, and cried the first time she came second instead of first. Because, no matter how hard we complain about school, it's still hugely important, and the hardships Pakistani girls face show us how lucky we are to get one. After all, education gave us books, and it's giving us a future.

Why shouldn't we be grateful? And why can't all of us get one?

I am Malala has showed me that, even when school is at its hardest, I should remind myself how privileged I am to be able to go without fear or death threats. Please, please read it.

That way, we can all join the fight.
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