The world was shocked when armed gunmen boarded a bus in Pakistan and shot 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. The reason for the shooting was her outspoken words against the Taliban. Today Malala has been discharged from hospital.
Malala campaigned for education for girls, where she lived in Mingora, in the Swat Valley of north-west Pakistan. In a country where the Taliban forbid girls in the classroom she was a brave teenager. Malala has been outspoken from a young age. She received media attention in 2009, when she wrote a diary for the BBC about life under the Taliban. A year ago Malala and her father were interviewed as part of an NYT documentary.
She became admired around the world for her strength of character and her campaign for education for girls in Pakistan. Widely acclaimed as an articulate, young woman Malala became a target for the Taliban.
Malala was the definite target of the attack and singled out of a group of children. The vehicle in which the school children were travelling was halted by an armed gunman. The doors were flung open and Malala's name was called out. After the cowardly attack a Pakistani Taliban spokesman told the BBC they attacked her because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared.
The shooting in October 2012 left Malala with life-threatening injuries. Shot in the head and neck her life hung in the balance. Initially she was treated at a military hospital outside of Islamabad. She was moved to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England for further treatment. Her treatment was funded by the Pakistani government.
The hospital has a reputation for dealing with some of the worst injuries received during conflict. It is a hospital which is renowned for treating British soldiers injured abroad.
The Taliban vowed to kill Malala if she survived the attack and she was protected at the Birmingham hospital.
This week there is good news for Malala and her family. On Wednesday her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, was given a job in the Pakistani Consulate in Birmingham. He has been appointed education attache and will function as head of the consulate's education section. The role will initially last for three years but could end up lasting two more years.
The icing on the cake news is that today Malala has been discharged from hospital. She will have to return to the hospital for further surgery but the future looks bright once more for this feisty young woman. Her rehabilitation will continue at home, in Birmingham.
Malala won the first National Peace Prize in Pakistan, in November and was also the runner up in the International Children's Peace Prize. Malala Day followed concentrating media attention on "Malala and the 32 million girls like Malala not at school " Malala Day was celebrated around the world.