Chapters 17–18 Summary and Analysis
Malala documents the injustices suffered by the citizens of the Swat Valley at the hands of the Pakistani army and the Taliban. Women particularly faced financial hardship when their men were caught in the crosshairs between the Pakistani army and the Taliban. They could not remarry unless their husbands were declared dead. Often, they had no means of legal redress when their husbands were taken by the Pakistani army. These missing men left their families destitute and in dire need. Muslim women were not the only ones who suffered. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, currently sits on Pakistan's death row under the country's Blasphemy Law. Meanwhile, Salman Taseer (a former Muslim governor of Punjab who openly supported Bibi) was assassinated for opposing the Blasphemy Law. Ziauddin himself received death threats for speaking out against Fazlullah.
Meanwhile, the CIA's drone strikes troubled Malala, and ordinary Pakistanis questioned why the presence of American spies like Raymond Davis was tolerated in Pakistan. The highlight of this chapter is Malala's mention of Osama bin Laden's killing by US Navy SEALS in Abbottabad. Malala reports that many Pakistanis were horrified when they discovered that the Pakistani intelligence services had no prior knowledge of the stealth raid. Later in the chapter, we learn that Malala was nominated for the Amsterdam KidsRights international peace prize and awarded Pakistan's first National Peace Prize. With numerous award prizes, Malala and her family were able to pay for family necessities, renovate the Khushal School, and pioneer an education foundation for girls.
Malala finds it ironic that Pakistan, a country that boasts a former female head of state and Muslim women in professional capacities, continues to make little progress in expanding women's rights. Despite her concerns, Malala is heartened by the results of her activist work. In January 2012, the Sindh government in Karachi renamed a girls' secondary school after Malala. The entire family flew to Karachi for the ceremony. While there, the Yousafzais visited numerous schools and Mohammad Ali Jinnah's mausoleum. The mausoleum contained a...
(The entire section is 1031 words.)