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Who is malala?

She is the 16 year daughter of a BBC reporter in Pakistan – now working in the UK. Her dream was to become a doctor. Her life almost came to an abrupt end.

Malala was targeted and shot in Malala-Yousafzaithe head in Parkistan by the Taleban on 9th October 2012 (one year ago) for promoting education of girls in the Swat valley in Pakistan. Strenuous international cooperation allowed for her to be  taken to Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital where she was saved from near death.  By an amazing set of coincidences and luck – the hand of god if you wish – Malala survived, was awarded the Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award, and was tipped to be shortlisted for the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Dr Fiona Reynolds of Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital, was in Pakistan at the time audible_malalaadvising on transplant surgery, when she  picked up on Sky News that Malala was shot and was at death’s door. Pakistani officials asked for Dr Reynolds’ assistance. That set a chain of events in motion that led to Malala arriving in Birmingham for expert care.

Malala’s story is about luck, defying the odds and steely determination. She is an international icon that is still the target of the Taleban. Please hear/read Malala’s story in her book ‘I am Malala’ available at Audible and at Amazon Bookshop.

Malala had been politically active from 2009 and had been writing under a pseudonym as a blogger for the BBC.

Having been extremely lucky to have survived, Adnan Rasheed, a Taleban commander wrote to Malala to explain,  “Taliban believe that you were intentionally writing against them and running a smearing campaign to malign their efforts to establish Islamic system in Swat and your writings were provocative.” At the end of the 4-page letter appears the words “All praises to Allah the creator of the Universe.

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, announced in December 2012 that a $10 million education fund in Malala’s name would be set up.

Malala is thought to be eligible for permanent residence in the UK. I dare say she is a National Treasure and should share dual citizenship of the UK and Pakistan, by special arrangement if necessary.

What ever you do today, give time to this story and Malala’s work. It’s bigger than us. This is world-changing and life-changing.

Additional sources:

  1. Malala on BBC blog 2009.
  2. Portait of the girl blogger
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