This Tuesday, internationally known blogger and National Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban on her way home from school. Known for her blog, “Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl,” Malala has gained international recognition as she chronicles the fear and difficulty of Pakistani women to receive education under the Taliban’s rule. On the way home from school, the van carrying Malala and her classmates was pulled over by the Taliban and once identified, they began shooting shooting at her until the driver drove off. Hit in the neck, doctors predict that it will be difficult to remove the bullet, and her chances of survival are relatively low.
Just 14 years old, Malala has frequently been targeted with death threats because of her public advocacy for women’s education, an activity punishable by death in the Taliban run country.
First appearing on the BBC Urdu online, “Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl” has allowed us to see through Malala’s eyes and experience the impossibility of being a female in a Taliban run country:
“I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taleban. I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. I was afraid going to school because the Taleban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools. On my way from school to home I heard a man saying ‘I will kill you’. I hastened my pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else over the phone.”
Blogging about how the ban of female education has affected her and her classmates’ education, Malala writes with a voice and comprehension well beyond her years. In the very public forum that is the Internet, she speaks openly about the difficulties and danger of receiving an education as a female in Pakistan. With the Taliban seeking to impose its interpretation of Sharia Law on the country, 150 schools have been destroyed to prevent Pakistani women from leaving the home..
The recipient of Pakistan’s first National Peace Prize, she has shown incredible bravery with each post she publishes, giving a voice to the silenced masses. The money won from the National Peace Prize is being awarded annually to children and teens under 18 who are contributing to education and peace-building in Pakistan.
Malala is currently in a military hospital in the provincial capital where she is in stable but critical condition.