A Girl In Pakistan's Swat Valley
Speaking Out For Girls Early On
Yousafzai attended a school founded by her father. After the Taliban began attacking girls' schools in Swat, she gave a speech in Peshawar, Pakistan, in September 2008. The title of her talk was: "How Dare the Taliban Take Away My Basic Right to Education?"
In early 2009, Yousafzai began writing for the BBC, a British news organization, about the Taliban's opposition to education for girls and women. To protect herself, she used the fake name Gul Makai. By December of that year, though, she was identified as the BBC blogger.
When she was 14, Yousafzai and her family learned that the Taliban had issued a death threat against her. Though she was frightened for the safety of her father — an anti-Taliban activist — she and her family initially believed that the Taliban would not actually harm a child.
On October 9, 2012, a man boarded the bus that Yousafzai was riding on her way home from school and demanded to know which girl was Malala Yousafzai. When her friends looked toward Yousafzai, her identity was given away. The gunman fired at her, hitting the left side of her head. The bullet traveled down her neck. Two other girls were also injured in the attack.
The shooting left Yousafzai in critical condition so she was flown to a military hospital in Peshawar, a city in Pakistan. Part of her skull was removed to help treat the swelling of her brain and help her heal. To get more care, she was transferred to Birmingham, England.
After The Attack
In England, Yousafzai was taken out of a medically induced coma, which occurs when doctors give a patient medication that puts them into a long deep sleep. Her face was paralyzed, which means it could not move. She had to undergo many operations, but she had suffered no major brain damage. In March 2013, she was able to begin attending school in Birmingham.
The shooting resulted in a huge outpouring of support for Yousafzai from around the world. On her 16th birthday in 2013, she gave a speech at the United Nations (U.N.). The U.N. is a global organization that promotes countries' cooperation. She also wrote a book about her experiences with the Taliban. The book was published in October 2013.
Death Threats And The Nobel Peace Prize
The Taliban still wants to kill Yousafzai. Despite the Taliban's threats, she continues to fight for girls' rights to go to school.
In 2013, she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, an award given every year to people who work to promote world peace. She didn't win, but she was nominated again in March 2014. In October 2014, Yousafzai received the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Indian children's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. At age 17, she became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said: “She is (the) pride of Pakistan. She has made her countrymen proud. Girls and boys of the world should take the lead from her struggle and commitment."