Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Different Kind of Daughter

Maria Toorpakai is Pakistani and a famous female athlete. Those two descriptors don't easily fit in the same sentence.  In Pakistan girls are not permitted to play sports.  However, Maria's family is not a traditional Pakistani family. Her father believes in education for all of his children - his sons AND his daughters.

And Maria is fine with bucking tradition. She enjoyed her childhood dressed as a boy, roaming freely, something not allowed of girls.  Her athletic skill was hard to believe for many, considering she was a girl.

Maria fell in love with the sport of squash, rising to become her country's number one female squash player.  Her notoriety left her as a target for the Taliban, and Maria eventually had to leave Pakistan for Canada where she could pursue her dreams.

Toorpakai's account of her childhood and quest for freedom and equality was interesting, and reinforces the many books I have read about the role of women in Pakistan.  Hopefully Toorpakai's example will allow other girls to see themselves as capable of taking a risk and realizing their dreams, even if the dreams differ from that of their country's expectations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read this book.... it's amazing. I stayed up until 3 am to finish it in one day. The language is so beautiful, and the story so powerful. Maria is amazing.