Malala Yousafzai, Pakistan Teen Activist Shot By Taliban To Publish Her Life Story

   on March 28 2013 4:58 AM
Malala Yousafzai smiles as she attends Edgbaston High School for girls in Edgbaston, central England in this handout photograph released March 19, 2013
Malala Yousafzai smiles as she attends Edgbaston High School for girls in Edgbaston, central England in this handout photograph released March 19, 2013 Reuters

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating education for girls said she will pen her life story.

The 15-year-old girl from Pakistan’s Swat valley, who has become an icon of resistance against the Taliban’s oppression of women, had returned to school in England last week, after a miraculous recovery from her injuries.

Malala announced that she will publish her life story in a memoir titled “I am Malala,” the Associated Press reported.

"I want to tell my story, but it will also be the story of 61 million children who can't get education," Yousafzai said in a news release. "I want it to be part of the campaign to give every boy and girl the right to go to school. It is their basic right."

She and her two friends were shot in a school bus in Pakistan’s Swat valley when they were returning home after attending school last Oct.9. Her recovery has been described as a miracle since she was critically injured in the attack. She was flown to England where she underwent several surgeries to repair the damage from her bullet wounds. Doctors have replaced a part of her skull with a titanium plate and also inserted a cochlear implant to facilitate her hearing faculty.

She restarted education as a ninth-grade student at Edgbaston High School, a girls’ school in Birmingham, England last week, six months after the assassination bid.

According to a Guardian report, the book deal was inked for around 2 million pounds (a little over $3 million) with publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson. However, a spokesman for the publisher refused to confirm reports about the value of the deal.

"This book will be a document to bravery, courage and vision," Arzu Tahsin, deputy publishing director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson told AP. "Malala is so young to have experienced so much and I have no doubt that her story will be an inspiration to readers from all generations who believe in the right to education and the freedom to pursue it."

Malala began her struggle for women education rights at the age of 11. She began blogging under a pseudonym for BBC News, providing insights into life in the Swat valley, which was then under the Taliban's rule. She continued advocating for girls education rights after the ouster of Taliban forces from the valley. She gave numerous media interviews and aired her views braving the extremists’ threats.

In December 2011, she was awarded Pakistan's first National Youth Peace Prize. 

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has announced that Nov.10 (each year since, 2012) – the day she was attacked – will be observed as the “Malala Day” world over, honoring her struggle for the cause of girls education. He said that this would “build on the momentum of U.N.'s Education First initiative,” the Express Tribune reported.  

Numerous education right activists and human right groups across the globe had campaigned for honoring Malala with a Nobel Peace Prize this year. She also happens to be the youngest nominee for the coveted prize.

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