'I did not clip her wings': Malala's father pens memoir
Published Friday, June 14, 2019 11:37AM EDT
Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of education campaigner and the youngest Nobel prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, has penned a memoir about raising his daughter in the shadow of the Taliban.
In ‘Let her fly,” Yousafzai explores how his upbringing shaped his vision for his own children’s future, and the sequence of events that would put his daughter, and his family, in the international spotlight.
“Growing up in a very patriarchal family, I could notice the invisibility of girls and the absence of their identity,” Yousafzai said to Anne-Marie Mediwake on CTV’s Your Morning. “So this made me different and I wanted [her] to have her own identity, her own name.”
Recalling his own childhood, Yousafzai said “the most important thing [was] that I wanted to educate her, because none of my five sisters went to school and they would have an entirely different life if there had been an opportunity to go to school.”
Yousafzai and his family lived in the Swat Valley district in Pakistan, which came under Taliban rule in 2008 – the militants banned things like television, music and girls education.
Throughout the years of unrest, which included girls schools being bombed, live fire and shelling, Malala and her father continued to campaign for the right to education – which made them a target.
In October of 2012, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman on the bus home from taking an exam – she was only 15-years-old.
She survived – and continued her activism work. She received the Nobel Prize in 2014 at the age of 17, making her the youngest recipient ever.
Yousafzai said he “faced criticism” for allowing his daughter to be in the public eye and speak to media, but he was adamant.
“I believed in her voice,” Yousafzai said. “Trust me, this one girl with a voice was more powerful than the bombs and guns of Taliban.”
Yousafzai said that together with Malala, “we brought peace back because of our activism and education.”
“Education I must say is the most powerful equalizer that brings change.”