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Pakistani girl shot by Taliban for defending women's education recovering in U.K.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 9th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in her native Pakistan by Taliban agents for daring to author a blog demanding education for women in her homeland. The unarmed schoolgirl was shot in the head while riding her school bus home last month. Now recovering in a hospital in the U.K., Malala continues to flout the Taliban's repressive tactics - by openly reading books in bed.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Malala is recuperating in Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, where she reads cards from well-wishers. She says she is "amazed" at how many people care about her health.

Flown to Britain for surgery after the bullets grazed her brain, the teenager has become a symbol for courage throughout the world. Thousands of people have called for her to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for her demand for women's education in Pakistan, something the Taliban very much opposes.

Her father Ziauddin Yousafzai said she wanted to thank well-wishers for helping her to 'survive and stay strong."

At the time of the attack, Taliban agents boarded her bus on October 9, demanding that other girls identify Malala. The gun-wielding terrorists then shot two girls, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and fired at Malala, striking her in the head and neck.

The Taliban issued a statement online saying that if Malala were to survive, they would attack her again.

Yousafzai, his wife and their two sons flew to the U.K. last month to be with Malala.

In a statement issued by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Yousafzai said, "She wants me to tell everyone how grateful she is and is amazed that men, women and children from across the world are interested in her well-being.

"We deeply feel the heart-touching good wishes of the people across the world of all caste, color and creed."

Malala has since been showered with gifts from citizens who wish her a speedy recovery. Among the gifts are pocket money "for sweets," the teenager's favorite CDs, school books, clothing, toys and jewelery, while whole classes of pupils have written letters and messages supporting Malala's campaign for girls' education.

"I am awfully thankful to all the peace-loving well-wishers who strongly condemn the assassination attempt on Malala, who pray for her health and support the grand cause of peace, education, freedom of thought and freedom of expression," her father said in a statement.

Doctors have established that a bullet travelled along the left side of Malala's jaw, damaging her skull and jaw joint.

Tomorrow has been declared Malala Day by former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his role as U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education.

The "day of action" coincides with Brown's trip to Pakistan to deliver a petition containing more than a million signatures to President Asif Ali Zardari, urging him to make education a reality for Pakistani children, irrespective of gender.

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