Malala: Schoolgirl Shot By Taliban Speaks Out

The Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban has spoken out about her recovery for the first time since she was nearly killed.

Malala Yousufzai, 15, underwent successful surgery to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham at the weekend.

She escaped death by a matter of inches when she was shot on a school bus in northwestern Pakistan on October 9 last year - as the bullet entered just above her left eye and ran along her jaw, "grazing" her brain.

The Islamist gunmen said they targeted her because she promoted girls' education and "Western thinking".

In a message recorded by the hospital on Sunday, Malala said she was "feeling alright" and "happy that both the operations were successful".

She said: "I can also walk a little bit, I can talk and I'm feeling better."

Despite having five hours of surgery, Malala added: "It does not feel like I had a very big operation."

Her doctors have expressed their delight at her recovery. They hope that the latest procedures - to put a titanium plate on her damaged skull and to fit a cochlear implant - will be the last surgery she needs.

Neurosurgeon Anwen White said that her "brain is healing very well" and she did not expect any long lasting cognitive problems.

She said the teenager would continue with rehabilitation and then "hopefully be discharged home fairly soon".

University Hospitals Birmingham medical director Dave Rosser said Malala was "doing very well".

He added that just a day after the operations Malala was "already talking about resuming her work and furthering her cause for women's education".

"Most of us would be feeling sorry for ourselves 24 hours after an operation like that, not talking about helping other people."

In another video interview, filmed before her surgery on January 22 but only just published, Malala is heard saying that she was "getting better, day by day".

Speaking clearly but with a slight stiffness in her upper lip, she said: "Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone.

"It's just because of the prayers of people. Because all people - men, women, children - all of them have prayed for me. And because of all these prayers God has given me this new life, a second life.

"And I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated. For that reason, we have organised the Malala Fund."

Malala was airlifted to Britain from Pakistan in October to receive specialist medical care and protection against further Taliban threats.

She is expected to remain in the UK for some time as her father, Ziauddin, has received a diplomatic post based in Birmingham.

The Malala Fund is a girls' education charity set up in late 2012. It launched with a \$10m (£6.4m) donation from Pakistan.

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