Scott: For years, 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai lived in fear. On January 3rd, she wrote in her diary about a dream: “I am afraid. On my way home from school I heard a man saying, ‘I will kill you.’ Her nightmare came true on Tuesday when she boarded a bus to school. A man asked for Malala by name, and then shot her. Malala was a target of the Taliban.
Doctors worked through the night to save her life and she is now in critical condition.
Malala began speaking out against the Muslim extremist group, the Taliban, after they took over her neighborhood in Pakistan. They ordered all the schools for girls to close. The Taliban wants to restrict many freedoms of women and believe it’s a sin for them to get an education. A Taliban spokesperson called Malala quote, “the symbol of infidels and obscenity,” and said they would try to kill her again.
In 2009, the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan where Malala lives. But the army pushed out the Taliban just months later. But recently, militants have begun targeting and attacking people in the valley who speak out against the Taliban.
Malala became a symbol of women’s rights when, at just 11-years-old, she began writing an anonymous blog about her life under Taliban rule. Once the Taliban was driven out of her neighborhood, Malala began speaking out in public. For her courage, Malala won Pakistan’s first National Youth Award last year and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. She was also the subject of documentaries for the New York Times.
And now, as Malala fights for her life in the hospital, the country is rallying behind a new national hero. Students around Pakistan are praying for the young activist. Many believe the Taliban’s attempt to silence the teenager will probably backfire. Instead, the attack is already inspiring others to stand up to the Taliban.
Protester: I think the whole of this country should be ashamed of themselves if they don’t stand up for this girl, because she is somebody’s daughter.
Farzana Bari: People whose voices have been suppressed, and people are living in fear. But I feel there will be many Malalas in this country. I have all the faith.
Scott: Proving one girl’s courage can change a generation.
Scott Evans, Channel One News.