I have taken to reading over the past few weeks and I love it!
For so long, I’ve put off reading as it isn’t one of those things I have to do. I’ve prioritised reading for studying, keeping up to date with topics in my career, reading stuff on the internet, blogs or just skimming through the paper and articles in magazines. Not to actually sit read a book, truly being taken in by every word and getting lost in it, wanting to finish it!
After being fired, I decided to use my time wisely. I may have to research my industry and read job applications etc., but I was going to prioritise reading actual books and get through the list of books I’d put off when in employment. So far, I have read 3 books that have all been absolutely amazing! They are all emotional, humbling and inspiring books about 3 women who are all very different but just as courageous!
The first book I read was Tears of The Desert written by Damien Lewis. It is about the life of Halima Bashir growing up in the deserts of West Sudan. She was part of the Zaghawa tribe and had what read like a free spirit with a balanced lifestyle full of responsibilities, childlike play outside and with plenty of imagination, a community with ethics morals and values and supporting parents who helped her gain a strong education qualifying as a doctor. She did challenge some of the traditional thinking from her community and was able to express these with courage in a dignified way from such a young age. Unfortunately, Janjaweed Arab Militants destroyed Sudan in a savage, gut wrenching and inhumane way! Despite being tortured she was determined she would fight to survive and defend others from the genocide in Sudan. – This was an emotional read for me. I just couldn’t believe a lot of what I was reading! How could people do this to others. I don’t understand the reason for this. There was a lot of topics in there from the belief of FGM, where women also believed that this was the right thing to do not knowing that it was actually harmful for them, racism, the evil of genocide and much more that Halima has challenged! I don’t want to give too much away, but it is definitely a must read! Halima Bashir is an amazing, strong and courageous woman!
The second book I read was I am Malala. This is about Malala Yousafzai, she grew up in Swat Valley, Pakistan. She writes about the early days of her father wanting to own a school and have education for both boys and girls. She speaks the truth of the Quran stating that it does not say that girls cannot have an education. In fact, it says the opposite. She speaks about the strength, values and the ethics her family have and the hospitality and respect that her cast as Pashtuns hold. She goes in to detail about her life, how she goes to school, her dreams and passions. At a young age she is brave enough to document her life living under the Taliban. She uses a pen name but knew that there was a big risk in this, yet she did it to be heard, for people to know what was actually happening and for education to be saved! She stood up and spoke her rights. In doing this she was used as a target but survived! Malala’s parents respected her as a girl treating her no differently to boys and not allowing her to believe the society’s norm of prioritising boys. Because of this, Malala was able to be brave, courageous and was determined to lead the way for girls all over the world to have a right to education! – Her story is inspiring on so many levels. It really shows the power that one person can have in the world and the good it can do! Age and circumstance are not limitations when we want to achieve! She took a bullet for girls and education! Malala’s story is a must read and one I would encourage teenagers to read too.
The third book I read was Beautiful. It is about Katie Piper at 24 years old she was in full swing. Living in London and taking on the world with her looks and talents pursuing her modelling dream. All this was taken away from her in a matter of days! First, a brutal gut-wrenching attack from Daniel Lynch and then the second blow followed. Another brutal gut-wrenching attack planned by Daniel Lynch but carried out by Stefan Sylvestre. Katie starts by telling us about her free spirit as a child. Her passion for all things nice. She then continues to take us through her teens and young adult stage. She then opens up about how and when she met Daniel, taking us through all the emotions. The new romance, the highs, the lows. The good, the bad and then the ugly started creeping in. Then… the attacks happened. She describes everything, you can almost feel it as you read. – My heart went out to her. She went though this pain and suffering, had to re-live it twice during the trials, then when writing this book and for the documentary. The strength it must have taken to do this is admirable! Katies story is not only heart breaking but has a light at the end of the tunnel. She has turned what happened around and is helping so many others out there! She is an inspirational, strong and amazing woman.
Halima, Malala and Katie are all inspirational women that have sacrificed or been made to sacrifice so much. Although, their journeys have been far from pleasant then never once made an excuse to end their own suffering at the expense of others. They were able to look to the future and turn that suffering into something that will help change the world forever!
I hope I haven’t ruined the books by telling you too much about them!
If you have read any of these books, I’d love to hear from you and how you felt when reading them? They definitely brought up lots of emotions for me. If you have any great book recommendations pass them this way!
On to my next book… xx