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Center for Women's and Gender Equity Fall Book Club: Chapter 13-16 Meeting Review

CWGE Book Club

Destiny Fay, Outreach Specialist
November 16, 2020

“They cannot stop me. I will get my education if it’s at home, school or somewhere else. This is our request to the world – to save our schools, to save our Pakistan, save our Swat” (Malala Yousafai, pg. 161)

October 28, 2020 was our fourth meeting discussing the chapters we read from I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. Here is a short summary of chapters thirteen through sixteen. In these chapters, Malala begins by talking about the exposé diary for BBC Urdu that she was doing to shine light on how a young schoolgirls life was being affected living under the Taliban. Because of the risks that come with doing this, they decided to change her name to keep her identity a secret. Inspiration came from Anne Frank and her diaries. Malala was using her words and experience to fight against the Taliban, while others were staying silent in fear.

On January 14, the deadline for schools to close happened and Malala was being filmed for a documentary. They filmed her last day of school - getting ready for school to the last bell that she would hear. And then pressure from the whole country made the ban lift, but only slightly, as there was only school for girls up to year four, which meant only girls ten and under could go to school. This made many girls including Malala pretend that they were in year four just so they can go to school. They would hide their uniform and books every day when going to school for their safety as they walked past the Taliban.

On February 16, the government and the Taliban came up with a temporary truce that made some celebrate and some question what will come next. Those question were answered in horrible ways because on February 22 the Taliban became “state-sanctioned terrorists” and there were videos of the Taliban beating women and young girls who weren’t wearing burqas or were alone in stores. There was a continuous state of anxiety that led to Malala and her family leaving her home (her heart) because of the Taliban.

On May 5 of 2009, they became IDP’S (Internally Displaced Persons) and were on their way with another family friend from her mother’s side of the family to Shangla. There, Malala went to school with her cousins and would later celebrate her twelfth birthday, while the Taliban were in war with Pakistan. Three months later they returned home to see the aftermath that came with the war. Her home and school were intact, but the Valley was not the Valley.

It was said that the Taliban left and on August 1st they were able to go back to school. Malala and her friends were excited and shared stories of when they were IDP’s. As everything started to get back to normal, the Taliban made it clear they never really left by bombing more schools and murdering more innocent people.

“When we were IDPs I had thought about becoming a politician and now I knew it was the right choice. Our country had so many crises and no real leaders to tackle them” (Malala Yousafai, pg. 204)

Because these chapters were a lot to digest, we decided to debrief and process what we had read within the chapters for this meeting. The reason we are doing this Book Club Blog is to have everyone updated in order for anyone to join at any time! Register for personal calendar invites to join!

In preparation for our next meeting we will be reading (or listening) to Chapters 17-20. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, November 25 from 11 a.m.–12 p.m. via Zoom. The Book Club Blog is here to keep everyone updated in order for anyone to join at any time. So join today!

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As we continue through the semester, we will make sure to include these items in each post:

  • Check out our Frequently Asked Questions webpage to see if we have an answer to any questions you may have. If you don't see your question on there, feel free to send us an email at cwge@unco.edu with your question(s) and we'll add it to our webpage!
  • If you don't have I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban already (don't worry because we didn't either), you can find or gain access to it in many ways. We did a little of the work and put together a document with some options.

There are several ways to access the Zoom link to join our virtual book club meetings. Email us at cwge@unco.edu with your interest, or register through our website!

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Thank you for your interest in our Fall 2020 book club! If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please feel free to reach out to us at cwge@unco.edu. We are excited and hope to see you all at the next meeting!

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