In 2010, notes began appearing under Malala’s door, ordering her to give up her crusade. But she refused to back down. It was two years later, on October 9, 2012, that Taliban gunmen shot her and two others on the bus.
The hours following the shooting were a nightmare. Malala’s friends were not critically injured, but Malala was in bad shape. A bullet had destroyed her left ear and sent fragments of bone into her brain. She was flown to a hospital in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom. Her family soon joined her.
The Taliban boasted about the shooting, saying it was a warning to other kids not to follow Malala’s example.
Meanwhile, the world waited, tense and furious. In Pakistan, millions prayed for Malala. Protesters marched, many of them kids carrying signs that read “I Am Malala.” It seemed that by trying to silence Malala, the Taliban had actually helped thousands more girls find voices of their own.
It’s been more than three years since the shooting, and Malala has made a remarkable recovery. After several surgeries, she has regained some of her hearing. She has won major awards and met world leaders. Her book, I Am Malala, was an international best-seller. There is even an asteroid named after her.
As her fame has grown, so has her determination. And her goal remains the same: for girls like her to go to school.