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Girls read loudly while attending a class in 2009 at a makeshift school tent in Mingora, located in Pakistan's Swat Valley, about 260 kilometres by road northwest of Islamabad. In 2009, private schools in the troubled Swat district were ordered to close by a Taliban edict banning girls’ education. About 150 schools had already been destroyed the year before. (FAISAL MAHMOOD/REUTERS)
Girls read loudly while attending a class in 2009 at a makeshift school tent in Mingora, located in Pakistan's Swat Valley, about 260 kilometres by road northwest of Islamabad. In 2009, private schools in the troubled Swat district were ordered to close by a Taliban edict banning girls’ education. About 150 schools had already been destroyed the year before. (FAISAL MAHMOOD/REUTERS)

In her words: Malala Yousafzai’s chronicle of life under the Taliban Add to ...

Since there was no tuition on Friday, I played the whole afternoon. I switched on the TV in the evening and heard about the blasts in Lahore. I said to myself "why do these blasts keep happening in Pakistan?"

 

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 14 : I MAY NOT GO TO SCHOOL AGAIN

I was in a bad mood while going to school because winter vacations are starting from tomorrow. The principal announced the vacations but did not mention the date the school was to reopen. This was the first time this has happened.

In the past the reopening date was always announced clearly. The principal did not inform us about the reason behind not announcing the school reopening, but my guess was that the Taliban had announced a ban on girls’ education from January 15.

This time round, the girls were not too excited about vacations because they knew if the Taliban implemented their edict they would not be able to come to school again. Some girls were optimistic that the schools would reopen in February but others said that their parents had decided to shift from Swat and go to other cities for the sake of their education.

Since today was the last day of our school, we decided to play in the playground a bit longer. I am of the view that the school will one day reopen but while leaving I looked at the building as if I would not come here again.

 

THURSDAY, JAN. 15: NIGHT FILLED WITH ARTILLERY FIRE

The night was filled with the noise of artillery fire and I woke up three times. But since there was no school I got up later at 10 a.m. Afterwards, my friend came over and we discussed our homework.

The Taliban have repeatedly targeted schools in Swat. Today is 15 January, the last day before the Taliban’s edict comes into effect, and my friend was discussing homework as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Today, I also read the diary written for the BBC [in Urdu] and published in the newspaper. My mother liked my pen name "Gul Makai" and said to my father, "why not change her name to Gul Makai?" I also like the name because my real name means "grief-stricken." My father said that some days ago someone brought the printout of this diary saying how wonderful it was. My father said that he smiled but could not even say that it was written by his daughter.

 

FRIDAY, JAN. 18: NO POLICE IN SIGHT

My father told us that the government would protect our schools. The prime minister has also raised this issue. I was quite happy initially, but now I know but this will not solve our problem. Here in Swat we hear everyday that so many soldiers were killed and so many were kidnapped at such and such place. But the police are nowhere to be seen.

Our parents are also very scared. They told us they would not send us to school until or unless the Taliban themselves announce on the FM channel that girls can go to school. The army is also responsible for the disruption in our education.

Today a boy from our locality went to school and he was told by the principal to go back home because a curfew was to be imposed soon. But when he reached home he came to know that there was no curfew, instead his school was closed down because the army was to move through the road near his school.

 

MONDAY, JAN. 19: ARMY IN THEIR BUNKERS

Five more schools have been destroyed, one of them was near my house. I am quite surprised, because these schools were closed so why did they also need to be destroyed? No one has gone to school following the deadline given by the Taliban.

The authorities are accused of doing little to protect schools. Today I went to my friend’s house and she told me that a few days back someone killed Maulana Shah Dauran’s uncle; she said that it may be that the Taliban destroyed the schools in anger at this.

She also said that no one has made the Taliban suffer but when they are hurt they take it out on our schools. But the army is not doing anything about it. They are sitting in their bunkers on top of the hills. They slaughter goats and eat with pleasure.

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