Malala Yousafzai & Christina Lamb

I Am Malala

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  • Features 24 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
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I Am Malala Chapters 12-15 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 12 Summary: The Bloody Square

Dead bodies are left in the square so people could see them each morning, as a warning against resisting the Taliban. The Taliban continues to target culture, and Malala notes the disappearing music and dancing that traditionally made up their lives. “I couldn’t understand what the Taliban were trying to do. ‘They are abusing our religion,’ I said in interviews.  ‘How will you accept Islam if I put a gun to your head and say Islam is the true religion? If they want every person in the world to be Muslim, why don’t they show themselves to be good Muslims first?’” (149).

Unfortunately, few speak out. “It seemed as if people had decided the Taliban were here to stay and they had better get along with them” (149). Malala’s father is threatened—people tell him about his name being mentioned on Mullah FM. Regardless, her father continues to speak out. For others, the risk remains too high. “. Terror had made people cruel. The Taliban bulldozed both our Pashtun values and the values of Islam” (153).

Chapter 13 Summary: The Diary of Gul Makai

A man from BBC radio is looking for a female teacher or schoolgirl to write a diary describing the situation in Swat. Malala offers herself as the subject. To make it easier for Malala, the man would call from a secure phone and guide her through questions. They used the pseudonym Gul Makai, meaning “cornflower.” He looked for “personal feelings and what he called my ‘pungent sentences’” (156).

Malala writes about many topics, including the burqa: “When you’re very young, you love the burqa because it’s great for dressing up. But when you are made to wear it, that’s a different matter” (156). Malala wants to tell everyone she is Gul Makai, but the BBC representative warns her against it. Malala does not believe that anyone would attack her, a child.

“I began to see that the pen and the words that come from it can be much…

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