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Teen Pakistani Activist Malala Yousafzai Makes Video Appearance

Teenage Activist Malala Appears In Videoi
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February 04, 2013
Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old Pakistani peace activist who was shot by a Taliban attacker in October, is recovering after successful operations to repair her skull and restore her hearing. Speaking to reporters in Birmingham, England, Yousafzai said that she is steadily getting better, and thanked her supporters for their prayers. (Reuters video)

Malala Yousafzai

By RFE/RL
A Pakistani teenage peace activist has appeared in her first video statement since being shot by the Taliban four months ago.

In footage that appeared on February 4, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai says that she is recovering.

In the message, recorded days before her most recent surgery on February 2, Malala thanked supporters.

"Today you can see that I'm alive, I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone," she says. "And today I can speak and I'm getting better day by day. It's just because of the prayers of people, because all the people -- men, women, children -- all of them have prayed for me."

READ: Malala Of Swat Becomes Malala Of Pakistan And The Wider World

Her shooting, on a school bus along with two of classmates at the hands of Taliban attackers, outraged Pakistanis and raised an international outcry.

Malala is recovering from two successful operations in a Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital aimed at skull reconstruction and a cochlear implant surgery to restore her hearing.

She appeared in another video released by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on February 4. That video was recorded 24 hours after she woke up from her latest surgery.

"I can walk a little bit, I can talk, and I'm feeling better," she says in that appearance.

Malala was targeted by militants for promoting girls' education and writing a blog about Taliban atrocities in 2009. She has remained defiant in statements issued since the attack.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital medical director Dave Rosser told journalists on February 4 that Malala is making a steady recovery.

"Everything went very well, she went back to the intensive care unit that evening, primarily as a precautionary measure rather than because there were any major concerns, and she's now back in one of the wards of the hospital and doing very well," he said.

In the video message, she says that together with her family and advisers she has set up a Malala Fund to educate children across the globe.

"God has given me this new life. And this is a second life, this is a new life," Malala says. "And I want to serve. I want to serve the people. And I want every girl, every child, to be educated. For that reason, we have organized the Malala Fund."

Malala was shot in October while she was returning home from her school in Pakistan's volatile Swat region.

Two classmates were shot but less seriously wounded in the attack. At least one of them has returned to school.

FIGHTING BACK: Malala's Schoolmate Says Taliban Bullet Has Only Strengthened Her Resolve

Encouraged by anger at the hard-line militants who oppose such education efforts and are willing to kill to impose their will on the broader public, Pakistani authorities have announced plans to name girls' schools after Malala.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik also said a $1 million reward is being offered for Ehsanullah Ehsan, the Taliban spokesman who said the Islamic movement was responsible for shooting Yousafzai and who threatened further attacks against her.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and RFE/RL

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