herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Irish honour for girl shot by Taliban

Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai

A TEENAGER shot in the head by the Taliban is to be honoured for her courage and determination.

Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai will touch down in Ireland, where she will become the latest recipient of the Tipperary International Peace Award.

The 16-year-old education activist was attacked by Taliban gunmen last October after she campaigned for girls to go to school without fear in part of the country where fundamentalists had once imposed strict Sharia law.

The Tipperary Peace Convention will recognise Malala's courage, determination and perseverance, along with the impact she has had on so many people across the world.

Peace Convention secretary Martin Quinn said he was delighted the teenager had agreed to accept the award in person in Co Tipperary. "We are really looking forward to receiving her and presenting her with this well-deserved accolade," he said.

 

STRUGGLES

"Malala now joins the illustrious list of past recipients of the peace prize, which includes former prime minister of Pakistan, the late Benazir Bhutto."

Since the age of 11, Malala had been secretly writing a blog for the BBC that described the struggles faced by girls trying to receive an education under the Taliban.

When her identity was uncovered, a Taliban militia boarded her school bus and shot her at point-blank range in the head.

Malala, from the town of Mingora in the Swat district of Pakistan, was hit just above her left eye by a bullet that grazed the edge of her brain.

She was eventually airlifted to Britain and treated at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she had a titanium plate and cochlear implant fitted.

The teenager has remained in the UK where she returned to school in March and continues to campaign for every child's right to education, including joining a campaign led by Plan Ireland.

Mike Mansfield, of Plan Ireland, said: "This is an extraordinary, brave young woman who, when faced with death, refused to give up and refused to be silent."

hnews@herald.ie

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