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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 ...

 

SUNDAY, FEB. 8: SCHOOL MEMORIES

I am sad watching my uniform, school bag and geometry box. I felt hurt on opening my wardrobe and seeing my uniform, school bag and geometry box. Boys’ schools are opening tomorrow. But the Taliban have banned girls’ education.

The memories of my school flashed before me, especially the arguments among the girls.

My brother’s school is also reopening and he has not done his homework. He is worried and does not want to go to school. My mother mentioned a curfew tomorrow and my brother asked her if it was really going to be imposed. When my mother replied in the affirmative he started dancing with joy.

 

MONDAY, FEB. 9: PRECARIOUS

Boys’ schools in Swat have reopened and the Taliban have lifted restrictions on girls’ primary education – therefore they are also attending schools. In our school there is co-education until primary level.

My younger brother told us that out of 49 students only six attended his school including a girl. In my school, only a total of 70 pupils attended out of 700 students who are enrolled.

Today the maid came. She normally comes once a week to wash our clothes.

She comes from Attock district but she has been living in this area for years now. She told us that the situation in Swat has become “very precarious” and that her husband has told her to go back to Attock.

People do not leave their homeland on their own free will – only poverty or a lover usually makes you leave so rapidly.

 

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 11 : EXPLOSION WARNINGS

I was scared the whole day and also bored. We do not have a TV set now. There was a burglary in our house while we were away in Mingora for 20 days.

Earlier such incidents did not happen, but they have become rampant since the security situation in Mingora deteriorated so rapidly. Thank God there was no cash or gold in the house. My bracelet and anklet were also missing but I later found them. Maybe the burglar thought of them as gold ornaments but later found out they were artificial.

Maulana Fazlullah in a speech last night on his FM channel said that a recent attack on a police station in Mingora (the largest town in the Swat valley) was akin to a pressure cooker blast. He said that the next attack would resemble a cauldron exploding and after that a blast the size of a tanker exploding would take place.

At night my father updated us on the situation of Swat. These days we frequently use words like "army," "Taliban," "rocket," "artillery shelling," "Maulana Fazlullah," "Muslim Khan" (a militant leader), "police," "helicopter," "dead" and "injured."

 

THURSDAY, FEB. 12: HEAVY SHELLING

There was heavy shelling last night. Both my brothers were sleeping but I could not. I went to lie down with my father but then went to my mother, but could not sleep.

The closure of girls’ schools in Swat have angered many Pakistanis. That was why I also woke up late in the morning. In the afternoon I had tuition, then my teacher for religious education came. In the evening I continued playing with my brothers amid fighting and arguments. Also played games on computer for a while.

Before the Taliban imposed restrictions on the cable network, I used to watch the Star Plus TV channel and my favourite drama was Raja Kee Aye Gee Barat (My dream boy will come to marry me).

Today is Thursday and I am scared because people say that most suicide attacks take place either on Friday mornings or on Friday evenings. They also say that the reason behind this is is because the suicide attacker thinks that Friday has a special importance in Islam and carrying out such attacks on this day will please God more.

 

FRIDAY, FEB. 13: FAZLULLAH CRYING

Today the weather is good. It rained a lot and when it rains my valley looks more beautiful. As I got up in the morning, my mother told me about the murder of a rickshaw driver and a night watchman. Life is getting worse with the passage of each day.

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