Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Girl Shot By The Taliban, Starts School In UK

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education, attended her first day of school in the UK Tuesday.

The Guardian reports that the 15-year-old described returning to school as the most important day of her life. The shooting that nearly took her life has not shaken her belief that girls all over the world are entitled to an education.

“I am excited that today I have achieved my dream of going back to school,” Yousafzai said in a statement. “I want all girls in the world to have this basic opportunity.”

The Independent reports that Yousafzai attended Edgbaston High School, Birmingham’s oldest independent school for girls. She will study the full curriculum before selecting her subjects for GCSEs, General Certificates of Secondary Education awarded in specific subjects to students in the UK. Yousafzai already speaks fluent English and is excited to learn about many subjects, including politics and ancient Greek.

In October 2012, Yousafzai was shot at point-blank range on a school bus returning home. She was targeted by the Taliban for prominently supporting education for girls in a country where such an act remains a contentious subject of debate. She was 14 years old at the time of the shooting.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, Yousafzai was first treated in a local Pakistani hospital following her shooting, where the bullet was removed. The bullet had entered just above her left eye and ran along her jaw, grazing her brain. Yousafzai was then flown to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England for specialist neurosurgery. She lived in Birmingham with her parents and two brothers before undergoing further cranial-reconstruction surgery at the beginning of this year.

In 2009, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC describing her life under Taliban rule. She began to rise in prominence in the years following and started giving interviews in print and on television. She was nominated for the International Child’s Peace Prize and won Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize.

Yousafzai is a nominee for this year’s Nobel peace prize, the youngest nominee in history. Immediately after the shooting, she received an outpouring of support both within Pakistan and from the broader international community.

“By her courage, Malala shows that nothing – not even bullets, intimidation or death threats – can stand in the way of the right of every girl to an education,” Gordon Brown, the UK’s former prime minister current UN special envoy for global education, said following Yousafzai’s return to school. “I wish Malala and her family well as her courageous recovery continues.”

Yousafzai, after recovering from being shot in the head and returning to school, continues to serve as an inspiration to Pakistani girls and others all over the world.