This is the preface of the biography ‘Malala. My story ‘, we share by Alianza Editorial, responsible for the publication of the book in Spanish.
Malala Mousafzai received the December 10 Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for his struggle for the right to education of children worldwide.
When I close my eyes, I see my room. The bed is unmade, the soft blanket is wrinkled aside because I’m late for an exam and I got up in a hurry. On my desk it is open my school diary on the page that is dated October 9, 2012. And -the uniform white shalwar and kameez blue- hangs on a hanger on the wall, waiting for me.
I hear the neighborhood children play cricket in an alley behind our house. I hear the buzz of the bazaar, not far away. And, if I listen carefully, I hear Safina, my friend who lives in the house next door, tapping on the wall to tell me a secret.
I smell the rice is being done while my mother takes care of everything in the kitchen.
“Aba’ll answer jokingly, school not go! In any case, walk slowly.” That’s my way of saying that things can be better.
I left my beloved home in Pakistan one morning, thinking that once ran out of classes would get me between the sheets. However, I ended up at the other end of the world.
Some people say that now would be very dangerous for me to return. I can never return. So, from time to time, I go back there in my thoughts.
But now another family lives in that house, another girl sleeps in that room, while I am thousands of kilometers away. I do not care much about other things in my room, but I care about school awards there on my shelf. I even sleep with them sometimes. There is a first prize finalist speech contest in which I participated. And more than forty-five cups and gold medals for being the first class in exams, debates and competitions. To another person they may seem worthless plastic ornaments. But, for me, they are reminders of the life he loved and the girl who was … before leaving home that fateful day.
When I open my eyes, I’m in my new room. It is in a solid brick house in a dank place called Birmingham, England. Here comes running water from every faucet, cold or hot, as you prefer. No need to bring gas bottles from the market to heat water. Here are large rooms with polished wooden floors. The furniture is also great and there is a huge TV.
Just a noise is heard in this suburb, quiet and green. No children laughing and squealing. No women down cutting vegetables and talking of his things with my mother. No men smoking and discussing politics. However, sometimes, despite the thick walls of the house, I hear someone in my family mourn because he remembers our home. Then my father comes home and says loudly: “Jani !, How about at school?”.
no longer do puns. I do not ask for the school that he directed and in which I study. But there is some concern in his voice, as if afraid that I would not be there to answer. Because not long ago almost killed me, just to defend my right to go to school.
It was a day like many others. I was fifteen, I was in ninth grade, and the night before I too had been raised time studying for an exam.
He had heard the rooster crow at dawn, but I had gone to sleep. He had heard the call to prayer from the mosque that was near our house, but I had hidden under the blanket. And he had pretended not to hear my father when he came to wake me up.
Then my mother came and shook me gently on the shoulder. “Awake, pisho said, calling me” kitten “in Pashto, the language of the pashtunes-. By now, seven-thirty and you’ll be late for school!
He had a history test and Pakistani culture. So I prayed to God hastily. If this is your desire, is it possible to be the first? I whispered. Oh, and thanks for all the successes I’ve achieved so far!
With tea, I took hastily a piece of fried egg and chapati. My youngest brother, Atal was especially heavy this morning. He complained about all the attention I received for asking that girls receive the same education as boys, and my father teased him a little over tea.
“When Malala be prime minister some day, will be his secretary,” he said.
Atal, the small family clown, pretended to be offended.
Do not! -scream-. She will be my secretary!
All this talk almost made me late and hurried to leave, leaving the half-finished breakfast on the table. I ran down the path just in time to see the busload of girls way to school. That Tuesday morning I got jumped and never looked back at our house.
The way to school was fast, just five minutes down the road and along the river. I arrived on time and on test day passed as usual. The chaos of the city of Mingora around us, with the noise of horns and factories, while we were working in silence, bent over our papers and fully concentrated. After school, she was tired but happy, knowing that the review had gone well.
“We will stay until the second shift ‘I Moniba, my best friend- said. So we can talk some more.”
We always liked to stay until the last bus.
For several days he had a strange and disturbing feeling that something bad was going to happen. One night I found myself thinking about death. How will be dead ?, I wondered. I was alone in my room, so I turned to Mecca and asked God.
What happens when you die? -said-. It feels?
If he died, I wanted to explain to people what it felt like.
“Malala, you’re stupid ‘I told myself. If you’re dead, you will not be able to explain to anyone how it was.”
Before going to bed, I asked God one more thing. Could you die a little and come back to tell people how it is?
But the next day had dawned clear and sunny, the same as the next and the next. And now I knew I had done my exam. The dark clouds that had been on my head had begun to clear. So Moniba and I did what I always did: we talk about our stuff. What face cream are you using? He had tried baldness one of our teachers? And now that the first test had passed, would it be the next very difficult?
When our bus arrived, we went down the stairs. As always, Moniba and the other girls head and face were covered before leaving the site and climb the dyna, the white van that was the bus Khushal School. And, as always, the driver had prepared a magic trick for fun. That day wiped out a pebble. As much as we tried, we could not get to discover his secret.
We huddled inside, twenty girls and two teachers crowded into the three banks ranging from side to side of the dyna. The heat was stifling and no windows: just a yellow plastic hitting against the side, as we drove stumbled through the crowded streets of Mingora in the rush hour.
Street Haji Baba was a jumble of colorful rickshaws, women with veils swollen by the wind, men on a motorcycle, honking and weaving through traffic. We passed a storekeeper who was sacrificing chickens. A boy who was selling ice-cream cones. A billboard Hair Transplant Institute of Dr. Humayun. Moniba and I were engrossed in our conversation. He had many friends, but she was my soulmate, which had everything. That day, when speculating about who would have the best grades that semester, one of the girls started singing and the rest join us.
Just past the little candy factory Giants and the bend in the road, no more than about three minutes from my house, the bus slowly stopped. He ruled out a strange calm.
“Today is very quiet this I said to Moniba-. Where is everyone?”.
Then I do not remember anything, but this is the story they have told me
Two young white clothes were planted in front of the bus.
“Is this the bus Khushal School?” He asked one of them.
The driver laughed. The name of the school was painted in black letters on one side.
The other young man jumped up and looked out the back, where we were all sitting.
“Who is Malala?” He asked.
Nobody said anything, but several girls looked at me. He raised his arm and pointed at me. Some girls screamed and I squeezed his hand Moniba.
Who is Malala? I am Malala, and this is my story. ”
(From the book, ‘Malala. My story’. Alianza Editorial. In Julia Fernandez).