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Discussion Questions for I am Malala-Support and Success

Question answered by Betsy Warfield, Manager Special Programs

Discussion Questions for I am Malala-Support and Success

When Malala returned to school after receiving the National Peace Prize her classmates threw her a surprise party to welcome her back and celebrate her success. Malala stated, “It was wonderful that my friends wanted to share in my success. I knew that any of the girls in my class could have achieved what I had achieved if they had had their parents’ support.” How do you view the relationship between Malala and her parents in terms of her success?

It is obvious throughout the book that Malala has a very strong network of support at home from her father, mother, and brothers. The support from her family does not all come in the same way: her father supports her love for learning and education, constantly telling her that she can do anything she puts her mind to and making it possible for her to get an education while opening doors for her to speak. Her mother is not as vocal but supports her through prayers and love; and her brothers support her by constantly looking up to her and being a part of their close-knit family.  Malala mentioned a few instances when other families would turn on their loved ones and help persecute them with the Taliban. When other families thrust negative energy and thoughts onto their loved ones, Malala’s family offered support and helped to build a future for her.

From my perspective, her father was the greatest support to her. He did not tell her she could not go outside or that she should dress a certain way. Instead, he constantly built her up for success and told her she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to.  It is through his guidance and mentoring that she even has the beliefs she does and the courage to pursue making them a reality. Her mother also admired Malala and showed through her actions of going back to school herself that she believed in her cause and what she was doing.

I truly do think Malala is correct in saying that she believes the other girls could have achieved her success if they would have had their parents’ support. Your parents are your rock and whether you realize or not, their opinion matters the most to you. They are your first role models in life; they teach you everything you need to know when you are growing up. If parents do not teach their children to succeed or show they support them, the children will not even try to make a difference.  Malala’s relationship with her parents is extremely strong and I do believe this has a large impact on her and her success.
 
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