Malala announces new book amid tepid response to her last title in Pakistan
Islamabad, Apr 18 (EFE).- The announcement by Pakistani-origin Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai that she is working on a memoir about her life in Pakistan has failed to create a buzz in her native country, where her earlier book met a tepid response as the activist is scorned by a section of the population.
After Yousafzai announced the book Monday, saying the new memoir would be her “most personal yet,” the development barely registered in Pakistan’s public sphere, where her international bestseller “I am Malala” figured among low-selling books last year.
“The last few years of my life have been marked by extraordinary transformation – finding independence, partnership and, ultimately, myself,” the activist had tweeted.
Meanwhile, the largest bookshop in Islamabad told EFE that the sales of Yousafzai’s book were much lower compared to other well-read titles, that sell at least over 1,000 copies in a year.
“Last year around 300-350 copies of ‘I am Malala’ were sold both online and in-store by us,” Tassawur Hussain – an employee of the Saeed Book Bank – told EFE.
The Taliban faction in Pakistan had also lashed out against the book, at times issuing threats to booksellers to remove it from their shelves.
“In my opinion, people don’t read her with interest. People don’t like her, her ideas, her story, they say that everything (about her) is a lie,” Hussain claimed.
The activist has become a global icon due to her fight for girls’ education, but has been vilified in Pakistan with allegations of harming the country’s image or working for the CIA, among other conspiracy theories.
In 2014, the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF) banned Malala’s book in its 173,000 educational institutions and released a rebuttal titled “I am not Malala, I am a Muslim, I am a Pakistani.”
“The book is written with the aim of revealing the truth, countering anti-Islamic propaganda and exposing the nefarious designs of anti-Islam forces,” the book’s author and the APPSF president, Mirza Kashif Ali, had announced at the time.
Yousafzai left Pakistan in 2012 after being shot in the head by a Taliban militant due to her quest to promote girls’ education, having to be evacuated to the United Kingdom for treatment.
In 2014, she and her father Ziauddin established the Malala Fund to raise awareness about the social and economic impact of educating girls.
The same year, Malala became the youngest Nobel peace laureate in history at the age of 17, sharing the honor with India’s Kailash Satyarthi, a children’s rights activist. EFE