Review: I Am Malala

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I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

by Malala YousafzaiChristina Lamb

 
Published October 8th 2013
by Little, Brown and Company 

Being a fellow Muslim, I was indeed intrigued and awed by the courage of this young girl who is courageous enough to state out what is wrong with her country and strive for education to be available for all.

Coming from a country where education is a main priority and females over populated the men in schools,colleges and universities, I was indeed aghast to discovered that in certain parts of the world, women are being treated as second class citizens. It brought a tear to my eyes, how Malala and her friends struggled to continue their education despite the horrors of war, earthquake and ongoing power struggle between the military and the Islamic militants in Pakistan. Certainly Malala owed much of her courage from her own father who is an education activist and is the owner of a private school. Their family background and details about the Swat Valley is described vividly in the book and readers get to know more about the places that she have lived and been to.

This book should be given out to every teens so that they would realised how important an education is and not to think of schooling so lightly. I felt so grateful to be able to live in a country where although the majority are Muslims, the women are not banned from attending schools and told to stay at homes to serve the men. Thank you, Malala for bringing attention to your plight. Isn’t it ironic that instead of silencing Malala with the gunshot, the Taliban instead have given her an even bigger voice that have been heard the world over.

Buku Fixi

Okay..my bad. In my last post, I was complaining about the lack of Malaysian fantasy writers in the market when I was suddenly reminded by one of my onlingergasie friend that there’s this new Indie publisher in Malaysia that supposedly focussed on the fantasy genre.

What? How come I did not know that? I quick search on the name Buku Fixi brought me to this wonderful online shop which features a wide selection of books ranging from horror, thriller to even romance. Aggh…I’m so behind of the local literature scene. Must hack my head on the keyboard or something. I want to buy all of their books well maybe except the zombie ones because I hate zombies.

I want this one (Gergasi by Khairul Nizam Khairani which literally translates to Giants) the most because according to the info it’s about a gigantic robot who travels back to ancient times to battle it out during the Portuguese invasion. And guess what? After rushing to my nearest local bookstore like a crazy woman with my 4 year old in tow, I was severely disappointed that they don’t even have this book in stock. Sold out or not even sold? Sheesh…the clerk who barely speaks English is so unhelpful.

I’m guessing I have to order this online although I’m a bit wary after the BAD experience with a local online seller before. Let’s just wait till I get my hands on this book first. Review to come!

To Malay or not to Malay?

One of my dearest friend was commenting on how I read too much English books and not supporting local writers. Well…in my defense, I have to admit that my favourite genre is fantasy. Can you tell me a Malay author who writes fantasy books? Nada. Zilch. None. With the exception of the esteemed Ramlee Awang Murshid who writes horror ( mind you) and the occasional epic fantasy, the Malay literary landscape is practically devoid of fantasy writers. Don’t believe me? You want to google that one out. Malay fantasy writers. Nisah Hj. Haron was another fantasy writer I discovered when I was a teen but she hardly writes anymore. Is there no market for Malay fantasy writer? Sad indeed. Now, you cannot really force me to read a genre I detest. The occasional non- fiction is okay but I’m just too jaded to read another Malay novel about forced marriages.

Review: Telling it Straight

As an avid follower of her blog and an occasional reader of her newspaper column, I felt compelled to read this book. I have never met Marina Mahathir in person but I’m generally in awe with this woman. She has the guts to comment and criticize Malaysian government and policies for quite some time now and still remain free as a bird. I did not mean to say that there’s no freedom of expression in Malaysia but it’s a very delicate matter and the fact that Marina is the daughter of Malaysia’s former Prime Minister might ensure security in her boldness.

The book is divided into several themes; and the theme that is of interest to me is certainly Gender Policies. I love how articulate Marina is in her writings and although most of her articles are just a few paragraphs long, we get the gist of her thoughts. Eventhough I did not necessarily agree with all her arguments and points but I have to hand it to her for having the courage to say what she thinks which is wrong with the country. But I really must concur on her views regarding the general state of our education system and also the many limitations put upon by Malaysian society towards its female citizens.

Particularly on the fact that working women did not receive much support or understanding from the men..yes that is too common. Females are the majority in Malaysian universities and we earned distinguished degrees but we are still required to cook and clean when we came home from work. Gender bias? Tell me about it. It is too long ingrained on the minds of men (and yes women too) that the proper place for a women is in the kitchen. So what’s the point of telling us to study hard and sending us to colleges then?Why not just send us of to finishing schools or even culinary academy?

Not everyone can afford a maid and being a child partly raised by domestic servants is quite a lonely experience. I’m speaking from experience since I had a maid until my university days.

Now, I’m left wondering and desperately waiting for a female Minister or even politician to have even half of the intelligence of our dear Marina Mahathir.

P/S: My dear hubby, I love you but I’m just too tired (and lazy) to cook after work every day. Sorry.

Review: Rindu Ibu

ImageRindu Ibu is a collection of poems and poetry by A. Samad Said; Malaysia’s most renown poet and novelist. He is also bestowed upon with the title Sasterawan Negara.

There are 101 poems in this book and the central theme is childhood. I’m guessing that since the target audience seems to be youngsters then the language is not too hard to understand compared to A. Samad Said’s earlier novels which is a good move to encourage kids and teens to read and cultivate an interest in Malay literature.

My favourite is of course the last poem aptly entitled; Merindu Buku. For bookworms such as me, the poem is a beautiful reference to our love for books.

An excerpt from the poem:

Buku adalah denyut nadi utama,
penting bagi minda waras manusia;
dan buku juga gema fikir yang sakti,
nyaman dan manisnya sebuah simfoni.

Isn’t that simply astounding and wonderful? If you consider yourself a true Malaysian then you should have at least read one of A. Samad Said’s works. If not, why not start with this one?

What’s Up?

Sorry for not updating anything for such a long time. I even wondered does anyone even read my blog? Hehe…I’m too busy with my other blog, my studies and my rambunctios 3 year old. Haven’t read a Malay novel for such a long time. I’m so feeling guilty. But now that everyone is in Adam dan Hawa fever, I’m so tempted to check the book out. And no…my interest has nothing to do with Aaron Aziz…hehe.

What do you guys think of the drama or the book? Let me know.