March 25, 2013

Malala Returns to School

The Pakistani teen started classes in England last week.

Malala: Today, I am wearing a uniform. It is important for me because it proves that I am a student.

Julian: And getting an education is something 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai risked her life to do.

Malala: And today, I hold my books, my bag and I would learn. I would talk to my friends, I would talk to my teacher and I think there is no important day than this day.

Julian: The Pakistani teen, who now lives in England, went back to school for the first time last week after she was almost killed by the Taliban. The extremist group shot Malala in the head last October as she boarded a school bus.

Malala supporter: She is an iconic figure for all women and especially young people.

Julian: Malala has been pushing for more education for girls since she was just 11 years old. She began her campaign as an anonymous blogger, speaking out against the Taliban after the extremist group took over her neighborhood in Pakistan. Taliban officials ordered all the schools for girls closed and restricted many freedoms for women.

The U.S. eventually drove the Taliban from power. But the extremists still targeted Malala because she was promoting Western thinking. After nearly killing her last fall, they promised to attack her again. But Malala’s story got the world’s attention. Students prayed for her. And protesters spoke out against the Taliban. This Pakistani schoolgirl says:

Student: What the Taliban did to Malala, and what they are doing now, we want them to stop.

Julian: There was even an online petition to award Malala the Nobel Peace Prize. And today, the teenager is back in school, ready to continue her fight to help the 32 million girls in the world who are not getting an education.

Malala: I want to learn about politics, about social rights and about the law. I want to learn how to bring change in this world. And how should I work for the happiness and for the education of the girls.


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