17032015Tue

Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Taliban victim Malala Yousafzai begins school in Birmingham

The Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban has attended her first day of school in Birmingham, weeks after undergoing a series of life-saving operations at a hospital in the city.

Malala Yousafzai, 15, was shot at on the way to her former school in Pakistan's restive Swat valley by Taliban gunmen angered at her campaigning for girls' education.

She was later flown to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham where she underwent a series of surgical procedures, including several to reconstruct part of her shattered skull and restore hearing in one of her ears.

As she resumed her studies at Edgbaston High School for Girls, Yousafzai - who is in the shortlist for this year's Nobel Peace Prize - said she had finally achieved her dream of going back to school and called for "all girls in the world to have this basic opportunity".

Alongside other students in Year 9, she will be studying a full curriculum in preparation for selecting her subjects for GCSEs.

"I miss my classmates from Pakistan very much but I am looking forward to meeting my teachers and making new friends here in Birmingham," she said.

Head teacher Ruth Weeks told the Guardian: "She wants to be a normal teenage girl and to have the support of other girls around.  Talking to her, I know that's something she missed during her time in hospital."

Gordon Brown, the former prime minister and current UN special envoy for global education, said: "This is a great day for Malala, for her family – and for the cause of education worldwide.

"By her courage, Malala shows that nothing – not even bullets, intimidation or death threats – can stand in the way of the right of every girl to an education. I wish Malala and her family well as her courageous recovery continues."

- Staff Reporter

- Photo courtesy of Caters Photographic

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