“We Are Displaced” [Review]


Courtesy of Southbank Centre

Grace Rivera, Editor-in-Chief

I recently read Nobel Peace prize winner, Malala Yousafzai’s powerful book, We Are Displaced, for an assignment and I just could not pass up the opportunity to write a review. The book begins with Yousafzai talking about her and her family being internally displaced in Pakistan, leaving her home in Swat Valley. The audience is taken through her thoughts and emotions as she talks about her experience with vivid images with a bittersweet tone. Yousafzai introduces 11 women she has met throughout her travels and their stories of struggle, adaptation, travel, and loss. 

“I am not a refugee. But I understand the experience of being displaced, of having to leave my home […], because it has become too dangerous to remain” (Yousafzai 45). Malala Yousafzai’s We Are Displaced introduces a world I never experienced but always known. Reading the tear-jerking stories of the eleven women and girl refugees, including Yousafzai, I was captivated, upset, but mostly angry. I have always been an emotional person who feels deeply. When I read their stories, I felt as though I was there, not with them in their story, but next to them as they were telling it, enduring breaths cut short with apprehension, the thick, tense air as the story became almost unbearable to hear any more.

With a solid grip for an entire day, I held onto this book as if it were a crystal ball showing their stories to me, where moving it would break the crystal, prohibiting me from reading more. Finally, I reached the most gut-wrenching part of the book, the epilogue. Millions of people with similar backgrounds to these eleven women have their own stories, their voices are silenced, dismissed, and even forgotten.  I urge everyone to read this book and to read the stories of the women who have faced incredible difficulties in order to survive. All proceeds from the sales of this book will be going towards the Malala Fund and their efforts in supporting girls’ education in conflict. 

Courtesy of Weidenfeld and Nicolson