Pakistani activist returns to school after shot in head

AFP, LONDON

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - Page 7

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai returned to school on Tuesday for the first time since October last year when she was allegedly shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education.

The 15-year-old said she had “achieved her dream” and was looking forward to meeting new friends at the independent Edgbaston High School for Girls in Birmingham, England, where she is now living.

Malala was flown to Britain after the attack for surgery for her head injuries and underwent several operations as recently as last month.

“I am excited that today I have achieved my dream of going back to school,” she said in a statement. “I want all girls in the world to have this basic opportunity. I miss my classmates from Pakistan very much, but I am looking forward to meeting my teachers and making new friends here in Birmingham.”

Malala was shot at point-blank range as her school bus traveled through northwest Pakistan’s Swat Valley on Oct. 9, in an attack that drew worldwide condemnation.

She has since become a global symbol of the campaign for girls’ right to an education and has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala was discharged from hospital early last month after surgery to fit a custom-made piece of titanium to her skull and an electronic implant to help restore hearing to her left ear.