1. “I stopped wearing my shawl over my head in some of the meetings, thinking I had become a modern girl. Later I realized that simply having your head uncovered isn’t what makes you modern” (195). What makes a modern girl?
2. “‘You should be more like Malala and do other things,’ said Madam Maryam [to Malka-e-Noor who only studied and didn’t pursue other activities]. ‘It’s just as important as your education. Work isn’t everything'” (199). Explain what Madam Maryam means. Examples?
3. “In Pakistan we have something called the Blasphemy Law, which protects the Holy Quran from desecration. Under General Zia’s Islamization campaign, the law was made much stricter so that anyone who ‘defile the sacred name of the Holy Prophet’ can be punished by death or life imprisonment” (207). What are your thoughts on this issue? Consider well-known cases like this one and your own feelings on freedom of speech.
4. Malala sums up the Pakistani response to the US with these two comments:
“Where once we used to blame our old enemy India for everything, now it was the US. Everyone complained about the drone attacks which were happening in the FATA almost every week” (209).
“The attack [in which Raymond Davis killed two men] seemed to send the message that the CIA could do as it pleased in our country” (210)
Explain the Pakistani-US relationship at this time and how the capture of Osama bin Laden influenced it.
5. Malala humbly claims: “I knew that any of the girls in my class could have achieved what I had achieved if they had had their parents’ support” (216). Do you think she is right? What have been the tools of her success? What sets her apart from other girls in Pakistan but also from those in our society?
6. In chapter 18, Malala explains what independence means to her. Summarize her points and explain your own ideas of independence.