Malala Yousafzai’s – ‘I am Malala’ was a terrific book. I read this book while I listened to the book on CD to heighten the experience and to at least to hear Malala’s own voice in the Prologue. It was well worth the extra time it took to read this book. It does have an untold number of names unfamiliar to a Westerner; the CD lessoned the frustration of constantly needing to interpret a new name of a person or place. Malala describes her life through a number of years in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, before, leading to, and after the Taliban took control; it certainly seemed like a paradise. While her story may be dry at times I do encourage every reader to finish her book. History seems to have somewhat repeated itself as the quality of life deteriorated in the Swat Valley similar to that of Germany when Hitler came to power. Freedom and basic human rights were eroded one after another. One poem with a significant message for us all, which Malala included in her book, reference page 140, written by Martin Niemöller who lived in Nazi Germany speaks volumes – “First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak out because I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” What a powerful message.
I highly recommend this book, in particular to every young woman, young man, and to every adult who wants to be enlightened and informed; it is quite an eye opener. Malala is a very special young woman and I am sure and I hope that we have not heard the last of her. She should become a role model for many young women. Senior Doctor-at-Bass! D. A.