“Young girl, you were not born only to cook…”

LetHerFly.jpgWho has not heard of Malala Yousafzai? Her courage, her clarity, her vision so startling for someone so young?

Here is a book by the father who has stood at her side all along. Excerpt from a poem by Malala’s father that serves as an epigraph:

Young girl, you were not born only to cook.
Your youth is not to be ruined.
You were not born a victim, were not born
as an instrument for a man’s enjoyment.

And this from the opening chapter…

I was going to be a father who believed in equality, and believes in a girl as she grows into a woman, and who raises her so that she believes in herself, so that in her life she can be free as a bird.

MalalasMagicPencil.jpgMalala herself, the world’s youngest Nobel laureate, continues to speak eloquently of her journey and her vision for the world’s girl children. Her father’s book is worth reading in tandem with Malala’s own picture book, Malala’s Magic Pencil, illustrated with a suitably delicate touch by Kerascoët, the husband-and-wife illustrator team Sébastien Cosset and Marie Pommepuy.

2 thoughts on ““Young girl, you were not born only to cook…”

  1. Dear Uma,
    The story of Malala and other girls like her is very intriguing for a woman like myself who left her country some decades ago for reasons somilar to this. My question is though, why a girl so young should cover her head!? Isn’t that itself something that men created to exploite women?! Weren’t women ordered to cover their head and body just because the husband, the father or the brother didn’t want orhet men to see ” their” posessions!?. We all know that islam does not ask wome to cover their bidy and head.

    • Nasrin that is a much broader question that is beyond the scope of this post. The question of choice in clothing seems primary to me and of course, children often don’t have such choices.

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