Meet The 14-Year-Old Girl Who Was Shot For Speaking Out Against The Taliban
Malala Yousufzai has been targeted for opening a "new chapter of obscenity" in Pakistan.
This is Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl well-known for speaking out against the Taliban for murdering locals and closing girls' schools, including her own.
On Tuesday, a Taliban gunman approached a schoolbus in Pakistan’s Swat valley and shot Yousufzai in the head and neck, according to reports. She was badly injured, but survived.
For one week in 2009, she also kept a diary for the BBC. Even then, Yousafzai feared being attacked:
I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taleban. I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. My mother made me breakfast and I went off to school. I was afraid going to school because the Taleban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools.
Only 11 students attended the class out of 27. The number decreased because of Taleban's edict. My three friends have shifted to Peshawar, Lahore and Rawalpindi with their families after this edict.
On my way from school to home I heard a man saying 'I will kill you'. I hastened my pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else over the phone.
The diary got her nominated for the 2011 KidsRights Foundation's International Children's Peace Prize. Though she didn't win, she was the first Pakistani girl to be nominated since the organization began granting awards in 2005.
Later in 2011, she was awarded the Pakistani government's first National Peace Award. And so, by age 13, she was a bona fide activist. She had a political following and even a school named after her.
A Taliban spokesman said they attacked Yousufzai because she was anti-Taliban and she "would not be spared."
"This was a new chapter of obscenity, and we have to finish this chapter," spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan told the AP.
The U.S. State Department gave its condolences and condemned the attack:
"Directing violence at children is barbaric," said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. "It's cowardly."