illustrated portrait of Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala

by Malala Yousafzai

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What occurred when Malala returned to the Swat Valley in I Am Malala?

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When Malala returns to the Swat Valley, she is confronted with a scene of utter devastation. Although the Taliban have been driven out of the area, evidence of their tyrannical rule is everywhere. Most notably, the village school, which Malala had once attended, is in a truly appalling state as a result of neglect and of its being used by the Taliban for target practice. The school, in its currently dilapidated state, symbolizes the utter contempt that these terrorists have for learning, a contempt that manifested itself most strongly in the attempt on Malala's life on that fateful day as she was on her way to school.

Nevertheless, there are still signs of hope in the village. Malala's family home is almost completely undisturbed, with the books that Malala bought in Islamabad still in her room just where she left them. Despite all the problems with which the Swat Valley is still plagued, everything is set up for Malala to return to school and complete the education that was so cruelly interrupted by the Taliban.

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