One day in 2005, when Malala was about thirteen years old, there was an earthquake in Swat. While Mingora was largely spared from damage, the earthquake did huge damage to nearby cities like Kashmir and Kabul. Children and the elderly died in the disaster. In the aftermath, Malala’s family campaigned to raise money to help the families of the victims of the earthquake.
It’s often said that crises bring out the best and the worst in human beings. Here, the earthquake brings out the best in Malala’s family: they selflessly donate money to earthquake victims and help the families of people who died.
In response to the earthquake, the United States sent helicopters and aid to Pakistan. At the same time, the JuD (Jamaat-ul-Dawa), a fundamentalist group, took in thousands of children who had been orphaned by the earthquake. As a result, these children grew up believing in the teachings of the JuD, including the idea that women had no rights. Mullahs preached that the earthquake was a sign that Pakistan had angered Allah, and that Muslims should embrace the Quran with new passion.
It should be noted that the US responds to the earthquake in much the same way that Ziauddin’s family does: by sending help and money. Of course, it’s highly likely that the US is primarily trying to build support for itself among the people of Pakistan, rather than acting out of any strictly humanitarian impulse.