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Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala On Being Shot: 'My Weaknesses Died on That Day'

Stashed in: Philanthropy!, Lives that Inspire, Extraordinary People

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I still don't understand why they banned girls' education.

LAURENE POWELL JOBS: Talk a bit about your childhood and some of the conditions in the Swat Valley that shaped your upbringing.

YOUSAFZAI: Swat Valley is a very beautiful place, with tall mountains, beautiful rivers and lush, green hills and trees. We used to have tourists from all over the world.

I was going to school every day. My father, my mother–we all were in a very small house, not rich economically but rich in our values, in our ethics.

Then some extremists, the Taliban, came to the valley and changed our lives. Girls’ education was banned. More than 400 schools were destroyed. Women were not allowed to go to markets. Hairdresser shops were blasted. They said that no one has the right to be free.

But education was very important to me. I wanted to be someone. I wanted to have an identity.

I had two options. One was to remain silent and never to speak and then to be killed by the terrorists. The second option was to speak up for my rights and then die. And I chose the second one.

On the ninth of October 2012 I was shot. The terrorists made a very big mistake, because I was afraid that they might be able to stop me. But they proved that no one can stop me. My weaknesses died on that day, and a strength was born. So I think I should be very thankful to them.

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