The 15-year-old schoolgirl shot in October after campaigning for women’s rights spoke before two major surgeries she underwent this weekend.
The surgeries were meant to repair the damage done to Malala’s skull by a bullet that shattered the bones. She also had a titanium plate and a hearing device implanted for her damaged inner ear.
ABC News reports that Malala stated:
“Today you can see that I’m alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone and today I can speak and I’m getting better day by day. It’s just because of the prayers of people, and because of these prayers, God has given me this new life, and this is a second life.”
The young girl was injured critically last October in Pakistan on her way home from school. The van Malala Yousufzai was riding in was stopped by three gunmen, who shot her at point blank range.
Yahoo! News notes that, wearing a traditional headscarf that hid the scars from her bullet wounds, Malala added, “I want to serve. I want to serve the people. And I want every girl, every child, to be educated.”
The young activist also announced the creation of the Malala Fund, which supports education for all girls. The Taliban targeted the 15-year-old, because she promoted “Western thinking.” But the attempt on the young girl sent a wave of renewed criticism against the Taliban.
Time magazine nominated Yousafzai as one of its 2012 “Person of the Year” candidates for her work. The magazine stated that Yousafzai “has become an inspiration not only in her native Pakistan — where the culture wars over women’s rights and religious diversity have taken many violent turns — but all around the globe.”
Malala Yousafzai has also been nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.