Malala Yousafzai, in her book, I am Malala writes about her experiences growing up, with a keen emphasis on the role played by gender in her society. In chapter 4 of the book, the village life is highlighted through the eyes of Malala, who was born in the city...
Malala Yousafzai, in her book, I am Malala writes about her experiences growing up, with a keen emphasis on the role played by gender in her society. In chapter 4 of the book, the village life is highlighted through the eyes of Malala, who was born in the city and was fairly liberal in her approach to life.
Malala says that she visited her familial village with her family twice a year, in celebration of the two feasts Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Azha. Malala tells of the gifts and the basic commodities such as foodstuff and medicine, which they brought from the city to the village. She also tells of the treacherous journey from the city into the village.
At the beginning of the chapter, it seems that Malala enjoys the visits to the village, especially to her mother's family where there were better amenities, including a concrete house and a bathroom. There were also more family members and more cousins to play with.
As Malala grows up into a teenager, she finds the village life boring since there is only one television and no internet. The requirement for women to cover-up does not augur well with her and she says she did not abide by it.
From reading the book, one sees that Malala visited the village to be with her extended family. The village also exposed her to the Pashtunwali, which allowed her to see the extent of oppression suffered by the Pashtun women, even before the arrival of the Taliban.
Malala's visits to the village opened her eyes to the social inequalities in the society, including the lack of social amenities and the gender-based oppression and violence. The visits also reveal the bad governance in the area, which is evidenced by the absentee political leaders.
Despite the beauty of the surrounding plains, valleys and mountains, it is during Malala's visits that the issue of environmental pollution is brought out where the state of the streams is described as marble white with discharge of chemicals.
Malala visited the village as a young girl to spend time with her extended family. In the course of doing this, she ended up identifying her areas for advocacy including the need to educate girls. Having been able to defy what was considered the norm in her village, she got the courage to ultimately stand up to the oppressive regime of the Taliban, which resulted in her being shot.
Therefore, it would be safe and indeed true to say that Malala visited the village to find herself and discover her purpose and to get the tools to achieve the purpose.