Books about Pakistan

I Am Malala

The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban

Amber’s Compass: Malala Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She has made it her mission to be a vocal advocate for girls rights to education. I followed Malala’s story from the time she was shot and her name was a staple on every news station around the world. Out shopping one day, I recognized her face and her name on the book cover, I immediately bought it and consumed every detail. Entranced by her story, I gained a deep appreciation for the Pakistani people and what they’ve endured. Her descriptions of her hometown in Swat Valley in Pakistan bring home the fact that because of her open resistance to the Taliban, she may never be able to return to her beautiful country. With a packed audience of mostly women and girls, I had the pleasure of hearing Malala speak when she came to San Jose State University. There she was interviewed by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner. I highly recommend reading this book, not just because for her inspiring story but also because Malala is a rare hero of our time.

Synopsis: “I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.” When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

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Three Cups Of Tea

One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time

Amber’s Compass: This book is absolutely inspiring and powerful, a story of one man’s humanitarian efforts to bring education to girls and to build schools for remote villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, I must include a disclaimer. The author, Greg Mortenson, is not without controversy. His story has been challenged by allegations that parts of the book are inaccurate and that the author may have mismanaged funds from his non-profit organization that he co-founded. That aside, the book itself is still worth reading and you can make your own judgements.

Synopsis: The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard. Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.

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Below are books that I have NOT read but are also highly praised books about Pakistan if you’re looking for more variety:

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