Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Malala starts first day at school

Malala Yousafzai attends her first day of school just weeks after being released from hospital (Malala Press Office/PA)
Malala Yousafzai attends her first day of school just weeks after being released from hospital (Malala Press Office/PA)
Malala Yousafzai with her father Ziauddin as she attends her first day of school (Malala Press Office/PA)

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, has attended her first day of school just weeks after being released from hospital.

The 15-year-old participated in lessons at the Edgbaston High School for girls in Birmingham.

She survived an assassination attempt by the fundamentalist political group in October last year and underwent hours of surgery in the UK to try to repair the damage caused by a bullet which grazed her brain.

Doctors in Birmingham discharged her from hospital last month and it is thought Malala will secure permanent residence in the UK.

She joined the girls in Year 9 and will be studying a full curriculum in preparation for selecting her subjects for GCSEs.

Malala said: "I am excited that I have achieved my dream of going back to school. I want all girls in the world to have this basic opportunity. I miss my classmates from Pakistan very much but I am looking forward to meeting my teachers and making new friends here in Birmingham."

When she was shot on October 9, last year, the bullet entered just above her left eye and ran along her jaw, "grazing" her brain. It was later removed by surgeons in Pakistan before she was flown to the UK.

Malala, from the town of Mingora in the Swat district, was targeted by the Taliban for backing women's rights and their right to an education.

Despite her severe injuries, she has made a good recovery, and was pictured in November sitting up in her bed reading cards and messages from supporters, then smiling and waving as she left hospital last month.

It is thought the teenager will secure permanent residence in the UK after her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, was appointed as an education attache with the Pakistani consulate in Birmingham for three years.

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