Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban last fall, appeared at the United Nations today for its Youth Assembly. It's also Yousafzai's 16th birthday, and the U.N. has dubbed today "Malala Day," something the young crusader responded to by saying, "Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who has raised their voice for their rights."
Malala had been writing a blog for BBC News since she was 11, discussing life under the Taliban. Last October, along with two other girls, she was wounded on a bus ride to school when the Taliban gunman fired upon them. She said today, "Dear friends, on the 9th of October, 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my head. They shot my friends, too. They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed."
She urged, "Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons... The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pen. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women."
"One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first," she proclaimed, "Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured. I am just one of them. So here I stand, one girl among many. I speak not for myself but for those without voice."