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Pakistani Oscar Winner: Malala Isn't Alone

Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Pakistani activist who was shot last week by the Taliban and is now fighting for her life, has captivated the world with her heroic campaign for women's rights-but she isn't alone in her efforts. Documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy sat down with The Daily Beast to discuss the growing movement of women trying to 'change the narrative' in her country.

STAND UP

Angelina Jolie: We All Are Malala

I told my kids—and you should too: Girls’ education is under threat in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and around the world. It’s time we all took a stand. By Angelina Jolie. Plus: Here’s how you can help.

On Wednesday morning, as we readied the kids for school amidst a few of the usual complaints about not wanting to go, I saw a headline on the cover of The New York Times: Taliban Gun Down a Girl Who Spoke Up for Rights. The Taliban claimed that 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai “ignored their warnings, and she left them no choice.” They approached her school bus, asking for her by name, and shot her in the head for promoting girls’ education.

Angelina Jolie and Malala Yousafzai

Angelina Jolie and Malala Yousafzai. (Getty Images; Landov)

After reading the article, I felt compelled to share Malala’s story with my children. It was difficult for them to comprehend a world where men would try to kill a child whose only “crime” was the desire that she and others like her be allowed to go to school.

Malala’s story stayed with them throughout the day, and that night they were full of questions. We learned about Malala together, watching her interviews and reading her diaries. Malala was just 11 years old when she began blogging for the BBC. She wrote of life under the Taliban, of trading in her school uniform for colorless plain clothes, of hiding books under her shawl, and eventually having to stop going to school entirely. 

HERO

Doctors Hopeful for Malala

Doctors Hopeful for Malala Niranjan Shrestha / AP Photo

As she arrives in Britain for treatment.

Malala Yousafzai, 14, who was shot in the head by Taliban insurgents targeting her, arrived on Monday at a British hospital, where doctors said she has every chance to make a “good recovery.” Pakistani surgeons removed a bullet from near her spinal cord during a three-hour operation last week the day after she was shot, but she now needs intensive follow-up care. She is now at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital, a center in Birmingham that has treated every British battle casualty for the last decade. Yousafzai was targeted by the Taliban for “promoting secularism.”

Read it at Reuters

After Malala

Taliban Declare War on Media

As Malala Yousafzai lands in Britain, still fighting for her life, militants complain that coverage of the schoolgirl’s shooting has been ‘biased’ against them.

Malala Yousafzai has taken one more step in her very long and difficult journey. Separated from her family for now, the 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl arrived today at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Britain’s primary receiving facility for military casualties returning from overseas. Doctors say she still has not regained consciousness since being shot in the head by a Pakistani Taliban gunman who forced his way into a van full of schoolgirls, asked for her by name, and opened fire.

The attack has provoked unprecedented levels of public outrage, both in Pakistan and Afghanistan—even among people who have in the past sympathized with the militants. “First of all, attempting to kill a 14-year-old girl is a low act,” says Mullah Yahya, who was a high-ranking Afghan Information Ministry official back in the 1990s, when Mullah Mohammed Omar’s regime was in power. “Second, claiming responsibility for it is a sign that the [Pakistani] Taliban are not aware of the media’s importance. I have seen more anger against the religious elements in the past week than in all my 40 years of life.” Pakistan’s interior minister, Rehman Malik, says the government has posted a $1 million bounty on Ehsanullah Ehsan, the Pakistani Taliban spokesman who claimed responsibility for the shooting.

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A Pakistani female supporter of a political party Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) shouts slogans during a protest procession against the assassination attempt by Taliban on child activist Malala Yousafzai in Karachi, on Oct. 14, 2012. (Rizwan Tabassum / Getty Images)

So how are the Pakistani Taliban responding to so much public condemnation? By declaring war on individual journalists and the media, of course. “For days and days, coverage of the Malala case has shown clearly that the Pakistani and international media are biased,” says a Pakistani Taliban commander in South Waziristan. “The Taliban cannot tolerate biased media.” The commander, who calls himself Jihad Yar, argues that death threats against the press are justified: he says “99 percent” of the reporters on the story are only using the shooting as an excuse to attack the Taliban.

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Meet Malala, The Girl Shot By The Taliban

In 2009, New York Times reporter Adam B. Ellick travelled to Swat Valley, Pakistan, to profile Malala Yousafzai on the day before the Taliban closed her school. Malala was shot last Tuesday, and is recovering.

MALALA

Pakistani Girl Airlifted to Britain

Pakistani Girl Airlifted to Britain Aamir Qureshi, AFP / Getty Images

Taliban victim to receive “prolonged care.”

Teenager Malala Yousafzai was airlifted to Britain on Monday to receive “prolonged treatment” one week after being shot in the head by the Taliban. Pakistani doctors decided to send Yousafzai abroad for care because of the extent of her injuries and the length of time her recovery may take. She was transported out of the country aboard a special air ambulance that arrived in Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates. Doctors said they decided to transport her Monday “during this time window whilst her condition was optimal and before any unforeseen complication had set in.”

Read it at The Hindu

REVOLUTION

‘I Am Malala’

First the Taliban shot 14-year-old Malala. Now they’re attacking her campaign for women’s education. Former U.K. prime minister Gordon Brown on why we should be furious—and champion the cause she’s so bravely fighting for.

Less than a week after 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban for demanding the right to go to school, the Taliban have issued yet another threat of violence against her and her supporters.

By denigrating Malala’s campaign for women’s education as “an obscenity,” the Taliban have provoked worldwide revulsion that has now led to a global petition demanding new rights for girls. In the last few days Pakistan has seen a prayer day, a lawyers strike, and hundreds of “chains of hope” formed in city-by-city support of Malala.

Political and military leaders have flocked to Malala’s bedside. And I have just been invited by the Pakistani government in my role as U.N. special envoy for global education to bring a delegation of education leaders to meet President Asif Ali Zadari on Nov. 10 to discuss how Pakistan can achieve education for all. Demonstrations for Malala have spread out of Pakistan—not just to Bangladesh, India, and Afghanistan, but around the world. Offers of support have poured in to guarantee not only schooling but also security to Pakistani girls like Malala, so that they are no longer deprived of their right to education.

Pakistan Malala

Demonstrators hold pictures of 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai during a candlelight vigil Saturday in Karachi, Pakistan. (Shakil Adil / AP Photo)

MALALA

UAE Sends Aid for Pakistani Girl

UAE Sends Aid for Pakistani Girl Asif Hassan, AFP / Getty Images

Source: Limited chance of recovery.

The United Arab Emirates sent an air ambulance to aid the teenage Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban Sunday. A source told Al Jazeera that 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who has drawn the attention of the world, may have “very limited” chances of making a recovery. UAE medics say they will evacuate Yousafzai if doctors deem it necessary for treatment. The girl was shot in the head by the Taliban along with two classmates on the way home from school.

Read it at The Associated Press

Critical

Shot Pakistani Girl Stable

Shot Pakistani Girl Stable Aamir Qureshi, AFP / Getty Images

Over 300 arrested in connection to Malala Yousafzai’s shooting.

A team of neurological specialists currently treating wounded Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai say that her condition is stable, but “the next 36 to 48 hours are important.” Yousafzai, who was shot in the neck for defending girls' right to attend school, is currently on a ventilator. Military officials are reporting that Yousafzai also showed signs of movement in her limbs Saturday. Meanwhile, Pakistani officials have arrested more than 300 people in connection with Yousafzai’s shooting, but have only 35 of them in custody.

Read it at CNN

GET INVOLVED

What You Can Do

Don’t let the Taliban and other extremists win their war on women and girls.

The Taliban horrified the world by shooting a 14-year-old girl on a school bus—an attempt to end her dreams of getting an education. As the teenage girl, Malala Yousafzai, fights for her life, here’s what you can do to help girls like her around the world—girls who want to carve out their own future, not live a life of submission.

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Pakistani school girls pray for the early recovery of child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, at their school in Peshawar on October 12, 2012. (A. Majeed / AFP / Getty Images)

• Go to Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s Women in the World Foundation to see how you can get involved with groups that help women and girls around the globe  get educated and escape violent homes.

Oxfam works on the ground in Pakistan specifically to end violence and discrimination against women and girls. The group recruits local Pakistani men and women to commit to being “change makers” who reform negative attitudes and behavior, and encourage others to do the same.

• At Women for Women International, you can sponsor a woman survivor of war for a year. For $30 a month, you’ll help her learn job skills and improve her life—and you can get to know her through exchanging personal letters.

The 14-year-old schoolgirl and activist stood up to the Taliban—and they gunned her down. Now, her shooting is uniting Pakistan in outrage. Will the attack prove to be the final tipping point against the Taliban?

Malala Yousafzai is still fighting for her life three days after the Taliban shot her—along with two female schoolmates—-at point-blank range. The 14-year old Pakistani activist, who campaigned for girls’ education, lies unconscious in an army hospital in Rawalpindi, surrounded by pediatric trauma experts. Her condition remains uncertain. Doctors say the next 48 hours could determine not only her ability to user her left arm and leg, but also the course of her potential recovery. CAT scans have also reportedly shown a possible brain injury.

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Pakistani children pray for the early recovery of child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, next to her photograph as they pay tribute in Karachi on October 12, 2012. (Asif Hassan / AFP / Getty Images )

Meanwhile, outside her hospital room and across Pakistan, there is a sense of anger—and of déjà vu.

The brazen attack on the lovable teenager has shaken the country down to its core, sparking many rallies in her support. Meanwhile, in Pakistan’s electronic and print media, the outrage is aptly pouring out. Even religious talk show hosts are discussing how such a crime has nothing to do with Islam.

MALALA YOUSAFZAI

Pakistan Has Day of Prayer

Pakistan Has Day of Prayer Muhammed Muheisen / AP Photo

Suspects arrested in shooting of 14-year-old.

Pakistan called for a day of prayer on Friday in honor of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who is still fighting for her life after being shot in the head by the Taliban earlier this week. Yousafzai was transferred to an intensive-care unit at a military hospital in Rawalpindi, and doctors say her progress over the next few days is “critical.” The Taliban targeted Yousafzai for “promoting secularism” for her work advocating for better schooling and girls’ rights. On Tuesday, two armed men stopped a van packed with about a dozen schoolgirls and asked them which one was Yousafzai. When she identified herself, he fired three shots, hitting her in the head and injuring two others. Three suspects, aged 17 to 22, were arrested for their involvement with the shooting Friday.

Read it at BBC News

Fanatics vs. Females

Pakistan Is Everybody’s Problem

In the wake of the shocking shooting of Malala Yousafzai, the entire world must take responsibility for ending the Taliban’s war against women—particularly the Taliban’s backers.

The targeted shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan on Tuesday was another stark reminder of the Taliban’s defiance of the government and its efforts to push Pakistan into the dark ages. That women and girls are a special target is once again cynically displayed in the wretched words of the Taliban leadership celebrating their deed. The world has been asking, “What has happened in Pakistan?” for a long time. Now it is time for the world to take action.

The nation’s president, prime minister, and army chief all said the right things when Malala suffered potentially lethal wounds to her head and neck. The army took charge of her medical treatment in one of the few good facilities in Peshawar. A jet was put on standby in order to fly her abroad for treatment, were it needed. The interior minister declared that Malala has become an “icon for the country.”

If only that were true. Hundreds of girls’ schools have been destroyed without much of a concerted response from Pakistan’s officials. The intimidation of women and girls in the northern province is so complete that few venture out freely. Traditional Pashtun support for the education of daughters has been undermined by threats against their fathers. Not so long ago, even mullahs were increasingly sending their own girls to schools, segregated but still offering a chance of literacy.

The government that has decried this assassination attempt is the same government that began its career on the heels of the assassination of another female, its leader Benazir Bhutto. Both Bhutto and Yousafzai are symbols of the serious malaise afflicting Pakistan today. A country that could produce a female prime minister, but not protect her, is shown to be once again supportive of female education but unwilling and thus unable to keep in check the dark forces of Taliban terror pulling the country into a future where girls are ignorant, uneducated, and living as less than second-class citizens.

Malala Yousafzai

Can Shock Therapy Free Pakistan?

The attack on the teenager is the latest reason the country has become paralyzed with fear of the Taliban’s medieval minds. Has the time finally come to stand up to the extremists?

We grieved as a nation when Benazir Bhutto was murdered. We grieved again when Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab, was assassinated by his own guard. We wept when Shahbaz Bhatti, the first Christian federal minister in Pakistan, was brutally gunned down.

On July 6, Farida Afridi,  a women’s-rights activist and cofounder of Sawera, was brutally murdered, shot by militants while on her way to work.

farida-afridi-murder-ispahani

And, now we are a nation rent with the pain of a 14-year-old girl, attacked for daring to seek an education against the edict of terrorists.

Teenage Target

Wake Up, Pakistan

The Taliban shooting of 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai means it’s time for Pakistan to take responsibility for its extremism, writes Asra Nomani.

Last week, I was training the U.S. military on traditional Muslim culture, so soldiers know what to expect when they’re abroad. I mentioned a young girl fighting to change the future of Pakistan—she’s literally the ace of diamonds in a deck of cards I created to introduce students to personalities in the region. My ace: Malala Yousafzai, a girl in the Swat valley of Pakistan, battling the Taliban for the right for girls to go to school.

Pakistan

A demonstrator lights a candle during a rally against the assassination attempt of child activist Malala Yousafzai, in Karachi, Pakistan, Oct. 11, 2012. (Asif Hassan, AFP / Getty Images)

I posed this question to the class: would young Malala's spirit of enlightened Islamic interpretation prevail over the spades—the hardcore Pakistani militants and ideologues fueled by an extremist, dogmatic interpretation of Islam? I will admit I was hopeful. And then, this week, the very same 14-year-old girl was targeted by the forces of violence. She was shot in the head by members of the Pakistani Taliban, on a school bus. Her crime: pursuing an education for herself, and for others. The Taliban proudly defended their assault, with verses from the Quran.

The assassination attempt is disturbing beyond words, and deeply personal to me. I have relatives in Pakistan; the country has been inextricably woven into my life. I was born in India to a Muslim family, but many of my relatives moved to Pakistan after the nation was created in 1947 from the split of British India into two countries. My friend Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was murdered in Pakistan in 2002 when he was staying at a house I’d rented. I conceived a child in Pakistan while unmarried, making me a criminal according to that country’s religious laws. In the U.S., I put my son, now 9, on a school bus every morning, and I wonder how the secular dreams of Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, have devolved into the targeted shooting of children on school buses.

Meet Malala, The Girl Shot By The Taliban

In 2009, New York Times reporter Adam B. Ellick travelled to Swat Valley, Pakistan, to profile Malala Yousafzai on the day before the Taliban closed her school. Malala was shot last Tuesday, and is recovering.

Impact

Women in the World

Angelina Jolie: We All Are Malala

Angelina Jolie: We All Are Malala

I told my kids—and you should too: Girls’ education is under threat in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and around the world. It’s time we all took a stand. By Angelina Jolie. Plus: Here’s how you can help.

Call to Arms

Malala's Cause

Put Education First. Now.

Put Education First. Now.

As millions mark Malala Day, we must take this opportunity to guarantee access to education for all young girls by 2015.

The Backstory on Angelina Jolie's Report

Abigail Pesta, editorial director of Women in the World, and Kim Azzarelli, President of Women in the World Foundation, discuss Angelina Jolie's moving column on the attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for promoting girls' education. How you can help: womenintheworld.org/malala

Plus

More on Pakistan

Taliban Peacemaker Locked Up

Taliban Peacemaker Locked Up

A key voice for reconciliation in Afghanistan has been missing for weeks after an apparent arrest. Why the prime suspect is Pakistan—and the motive to sabotage any potential peace deal.

Disarming

Women Battling Terrorism

Shady

The Taliban’s Shadow Invasion

Activist

Fighting With a Camera

Gladiatorial

India’s Nationalist Cricket Row

Pakistani Oscar Winner: Malala Isn't Alone

Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Pakistani activist who was shot last week by the Taliban and is now fighting for her life, has captivated the world with her heroic campaign for women's rights-but she isn't alone in her efforts. Documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy sat down with The Daily Beast to discuss the growing movement of women trying to 'change the narrative' in her country.