How did Malala fly? Her father tells all

Editor | Non-fiction

The Guardian pick as one of the biggest and most interesting books of the year, Let Her Fly is the story of the father who inspired the phenomenon Malala Yousafzai, the global activist and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

For over twenty years, Ziauddin Yousafzai has been fighting for equality – first for Malala, his daughter – and then for all girls throughout the world living in patriarchal societies. Taught as a young boy in Pakistan to believe that he was inherently better than his sisters, Ziauddin rebelled against inequality at a young age.

And when he had a daughter himself, he vowed that Malala would have an education, something usually only given to boys and he founded a school that Malala could attend. Then in 2012, Malala was shot for standing up to the Taliban by continuing to go to her father’s school and Ziauddin almost lost the very person for whom his fight for equality began. Let Her Fly is Ziauddin’s journey from a stammering boy growing up in a tiny village high in the mountains of Pakistan, through to being an activist for equality and the father of the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and now one of the most influential and inspiring young women on the planet.

Told through intimate portraits of each of Ziauddin’s closest relationships – as a son to a traditional father; as a father to Malala and her brothers, educated and growing up in the West; as a husband to a wife finally learning to read and write; as a brother to five sisters still living in the patriarchy – Let Her Fly looks at what it means to love, to have courage and fight for what is inherently right. Personal in its detail and universal in its themes, this is a landmark book from the man behind the phenomenon and shows why we must all keep fighting for the rights of girls and women around the world.

About the author

Ziauddin Yousafzai is the father of Malala, the global activist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. In his own right, Ziauddin is an educator, human rights campaigner and social activist. He hails from Pakistan’s Swat Valley where, at great personal risk among grave political violence, he peacefully resisted the Taliban’s efforts to shut down schools and kept his own school open. Ziauddin is co-founder of the Malala Fund and serves as the United Nations Special Advisor on Global Education and also the educational attach to the Pakistani Consulate in Birmingham, UK.

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