Chapters 5–6 Summary and Analysis
Malala tells us how she learned to live a principled life. When she was seven, Malala suspected that a younger playmate, Safina, had stolen her pink toy mobile phone. In retaliation, Malala stole some of Safina's toy jewelry. After her parents found out, Malala was left devastated by their disappointment in her. Malala reports that she stopped stealing after that, and to this day, she wears no jewelry. Malala relates that Ziauddin was a great comfort to her during that time; it was he who taught her that learning from one's mistakes is the key to personal growth. Malala's appreciation for this lesson leads her to question the Pashtunwali code of vengeance for every wrong committed. She tells us that the rush to restore nang (honor) in disputes often led to bloodshed and senseless deaths in her Pashtun community. Malala reiterates the importance of living a principled life, and she condemns the corrupt practices of politicians in Pakistan. She tells us that Pakistan has had four military dictators. During her childhood years, General Pervez Musharraf became the fourth. General Musharraf continued the old feudal system that concentrated wealth in the hands of a few, and he filled his cabinet with members of this elite community.
In this chapter we learn how the Khushal School grew to eight hundred students under Ziauddin's capable leadership. Malala relates that despite their financial struggles, Ziauddin's compassion led him to provide free education to more than one hundred pupils. Her mother, Toor Pekai, frequently fed hungry children at their home and often convinced...
(The entire section is 832 words.)