Malala Yousafzai began her activism at age 11. In early 2009, she began writing a blog for BBC Urdu about her life in Swat Valley as the Taliban banned girls’ education.
On Tuesday, the 14-year-old Pakistani education rights activist was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, and she is currently in critical condition.
The following are excerpts from her blog, all published by BBC Urdu in January 2009. This is what Malala fought for. This is why the Taliban targeted a 14-year-old girl.
• 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. My mother made me breakfast and I went off to school. 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.
• My friend came to me and said, 'For God's sake, answer me honestly, is our school going to be attacked by the Taleban?' During the morning assembly we were told not to wear colourful clothes as the Taleban would object to it.
• I have come to Bunair to spend Muharram (a Muslim holiday) on vacation. I adore Bunair because of its mountains and lush green fields. My Swat is also very beautiful but there is no peace. But in Bunair there is peace and tranquillity. Neither is there any firing nor any fear. We all are very happy.
• I was in a bad mood while going to school because winter vacations are starting from tomorrow. The principal announced the vacations but did not mention the date the school was to reopen. This was the first time this has happened. In the past the reopening date was always announced clearly. The principal did not inform us about the reason behind not announcing the school reopening, but my guess was that the Taleban had announced a ban on girls' education from 15 January.
• My father said that some days ago someone brought the printout of this diary saying how wonderful it was. My father said that he smiled but could not even say that it was written by his daughter.
Images from guardian.co.uk
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