马拉拉一个勇敢的巴基斯坦女孩 / 伊拜尔一个勇敢的巴基斯坦男孩 Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan / Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan

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”让我不要祈祷
在险恶中得到庇护,
但祈祷
能无畏地面对它们。“
  - 罗宾德拉纳特 · 泰戈尔

"Let us not pray to be sheltered
from dangers,
but to be fearless when
facing them."
 - Rabindranath Tagore

How do we teach our kids in this day and age to be grateful?
How do we explain what is injustice?
How do let them know that there are many people in the world
whose lives look very different from us?
How do we begin talking about the topics of
oppression, freedom, child slavery, terrorists in an age-appropriate way?

I recently came across this book and when I read it with my 6 year old,
it gave me goosebumps.
I thought the topics will be too much for him,
the violence too hard to understand or stomach?
But he was really intrigued and followed through the story.
I'm so glad I got this book to start talking with him about what slavery is,
to know where Pakistan.

I'm so glad that through this book,
he knows that there are other places in the world
where there are children just like him,
who love to fly kites,
who love to learn,
but face injustice and seemingly insurmountable barriers to do so.

We learn of their courage,
we learn of their strength,
in their youth,
which inspires us to rise up,
and give our best in our circumstances,
and if in our power,
to stand up for those who can't.

This book tells of two Pakistani children, Iqbal Masih and Malala Yousafzai. Both of them were heroes in their own right.

At the young age of 4, Iqbal's parents owed USD12, and in return for the loan, he had to work while being chained to the weaving loom. At age 10, he was liberated by the Bonded Liberation Front of Pakistan. Iqbal stood up to speak against child slavery in the carpet trade. He received threats from people in the carpet industry for speaking up. When he was 12, he was shot while cycling with his cousins.

Malala studied at the school that her father ran, and did really well. The Taliban had gained power in her hometown, Swat Valley, and they discouraged girls from attending school. She was often threatened and one day, the schoolbus in which she was travelling in, was stopped by these religious extremists. Malala was shot but miraculously survived. Malala championed for the rights of girls to attend school. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her work.

What we love about this book

  • Relatable - Malala and Iqbal are children just like ours! Malala is a girl who goes to school in a schoolbus. Iqbal likes to fly kites and cycles with his cousins.
  • Gentle and age-appropriate way to introduce difficult topics of oppression, freedom, child slavery, terrorists with our kids
  • A gem to introduce kids to biographies, to learn from the lives of other amazing people
  • A great way to introduce the country and people of Pakistan to kids
  • Montessori-friendly!

Conversation starters:

  • Have you heard of slavery?
  • Do you know who are the Taliban?
  • How would you feel if someone stopped you from going to school?

Suggested extension activities:

  • Look for Pakistan on the world map
  • Learn about how carpets are made
  • Fly a kite
  • Check out other Nobel Peace Prize holders

Note: This book is recommended to be read together with an adult, to help them process the issues within.

Recommended for Ages: 5-12
Pages: 40
Format: Hardcover
Language: Simplified Chinese
Author: Jeanette Winter
Translated from: English
Translated by: 徐德荣

Here's a video on Malala with Q&A segment, that I watched with my 8 year old:

 

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Z
Ziya Ang
Sharing about the reality in Pakistan

It is a good book that tells the sad reality of children living in Pakistan. It is a conversation starter with my 4 year old; how fortunate he is to be living comfortably and sharing with him how we can never take what we have for granted.