Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai just wanted to go to school.
But the Taliban warned her against it and, because she refused to be intimidated, shot her in the head and nearly killed her on her school bus.
Miraculously, Yousafzai survived the assassination attempt.
Now, she shares her message for girls education with the world in a town hall with CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour in New York City Thursday night.
“The thing is, they can kill me, they can only kill Malala. But it does not mean they can kill my cause as well. My cause of education, my cause of peace and my cause of human rights. My cause of equality will still be surviving. They cannot kill my cause,” she says.
“I think she's a prodigy,” Amanpour says. “Because she speaks like an adult, yet she does have that child-like nature of this optimism, this hope, this idealism."
The inspiring youth’s father, who was on stage with her last night, describes his daughter as having a defiance based on a refusal to live in slavery.
“He's one of her biggest champions,” Amanpour says. “He was so besotted by his daughter. And he is a rare bird, too, a free and progressive thinker in a place where you wouldn't necessarily think that was the case. And he put all of that on his daughter.”
Amanpour says both Yousafzai and her father are “living proof of the desire to get educated, to not be forced into an early marriage,” as is common in some parts of Pakistan.
Despite what she has overcome, Yousafzai considers her survival a miracle and is determined to continue fighting for her cause, eventually as Prime Minister of her country. (WATCH VIDEO)
“Because through politics I can serve my whole country,” she says. “I can be the doctor of the whole country, and I can help children to get education, to go to school. I can improve the quality of education, and I can spend much of the money from the budget on education.”
“She’s really adored in her home country,” Amanpour says, “by a certain huge portion, but hated by another portion who are either jealous of her or the Taliban, who do not want to see a girl behaving like that and getting that kind of limelight or even going to school. And that's where her battle is and that’s where the battle for all Pakistani young girls right now in certain parts of the country still remains.”
Yousafzai reveals more details about herself in the full interview. Be sure to tune in to CNN on Sunday, October 13 at 7 p.m. ET and see why Malala Yousafzai is “The Bravest Girl in the World.”
How I wish all girls were just brave like Malala. The world wouldn't have suffered looking for female leaders
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