The Most Inspiring Quotes From Malala Yousafzai’s BBC Interview

The teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out about girls’ right to education explains why she won’t stop.

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Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head on her school bus by Taliban gunmen on October 9, 2012, in revenge for her public campaigning for education for girls. She was 15 years old.

The case attracted international condemnation, and a massive outpouring of support for Malala as she fought for her life.

A year later, now living in Birmingham - where she stayed after being flown there for specialist medical care by two British doctors who treated her in Pakistan - she spoke to journalist Mishal Husain for the BBC’s Panorama documentary “Malala: Shot for Going to School”.

3. She explained why she is still determined to return to her home country - eventually.

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4. She also said she would be willing to enter dialogue with the Taliban forces who tried to kill her.

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Several months ago, a Taliban commander wrote her a letter acknowledging that they had tried to kill her - but claiming it was justified as she was speaking out against them. “I felt nothing, just sad,” Malala said of the letter. “Like, it’s nice to hear from them because they accepted that yes we have shot Malala, because so many people say that Malala has not been shot.”

5. Asked if she thought her new British classmates took their education for granted, she said:


Yes… and I want to tell the students of UK to think that it is very precious, it’s very prestigious, go to school…

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She also admitted that she misses her old schoolfriends: “Here they consider me as a good girl, the girl who stood up for children’s rights and the girl who was shot by the Taliban. They never look at me as Malala, as their friend, and as a normal girl. In Pakistan I was just Malala, simply Malala.”

(Although she says the hardest thing about adjusting to life in the UK is the weather.)

7. She rejects the idea - being spread by some in Pakistan - that she has become too close to the West:

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Malala is now tipped by many to become the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize when it is announced later this week. She told Panorama that if that were to happen, it would be “a great opportunity”, but insisted that it was “not important”.

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10. Malala’s father Ziauddin, himself an anti-Taliban activist, has been by her side both before and after her shooting, and encouraged her to speak out about her beliefs.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham via Getty Images

11. As Malala said in her speech to the UN in July:

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