Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 24th 2014 Contents B5
Thursday, July 24, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Malala Yousafzai arrives for her first day at the Edgbaston High School,
Birmingham accompanied by her father. AP PHOTO
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala
Yousafzai came to international atten-
tion in 2012 when she was shot by
Taliban gunmen because she spoke
up for the right of girls to be educated.
Her story inspired the world and she
was nominated for the Nobel Peace
Prize in 2013.
Malala Yousafzai will visit T&T under
the auspices of the UTT and will make
appearances across the country on July
30 and 31. Guardian Media Ltd is the
official partner for the visit of Malala
In October last year, she spoke with
the BBC s Mishal Hussain about her
journey and her continuing mission to
see that girls have equal access to edu-
cation. Today we publish the conclusion
of the interview where Malala speaks
about her recovery and her address at
the UN on her 16th birthday.
On October 15, 2012, Malala arrived
at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birm-
ingham, where she would remain for
the next three months. She had been
kept in a medically induced coma, but
a day later the doctors decided to bring
her out of it. Her last memory was of
being on a school bus in Swat---now
she was waking up surrounded by
strangers, in a foreign country.
"I opened my eyes and the first thing
I saw was that I was in a hospital and
I could see nurses and doctors," she
says. "I thanked God--- O Allah, I thank
you because you have given me a new
life and I am alive. "
Malala s parents and brothers were
still in Pakistan but Javid Kayani was
standing at her bedside.
"When she woke up she had this
very frightened look and her eyes were
darting back and forth," he says.
Trying to converse
"We knew she couldn t speak
because she had a tube down her throat
to assist her breathing. But I knew that
she could hear so I told her who I was
and I told her where she was, and she
indicated by her eye movements that
Malala then gestured that she wanted
to write, so a pad of paper and a pencil
were brought. She attempted to write,
but she had poor control of the pen-
cil---unsurprising for someone with a
head injury. Instead, an alphabet board
was found and Javid Kayani watched
her point to the letters one by one.
"The first word that she tapped out
was country . So I assumed she wanted
to know where she was and I told her
she was in England. And then the next
word was father and I told her that
he was in Pakistan and he d be coming
in the next few days. That was the limit
of the conversation."
More "conversations" would take
place with one of the few visitors
allowed in---Fiona Reynolds, who
brought Malala a pink notebook in
which to write down her questions.
Malala showed it to me; it is a
poignant reminder of her search for
answers in that period, especially the
page where she simply asks: "Who did
this to me?"
For Reynolds, the fact that Malala
was able to articulate her questions
was a huge relief.
"I was hoping that her cognitive abil-
ities would still be there. I was also
hoping that she hadn t lost the power
of speech. So the fact that she was
mouthing words and writing---I thought
she s not lost the ability to speak.
"And remember she was talking in
her third language (Pashto is Malala s
mother tongue, Urdu her second lan-
guage), so her speech centre was pretty
Malala's new appearance
Malala would go on to make an out-
standing recovery, a tribute not just to
the quality of the care she received---
but also, her doctors told me, to her
own resilience and determination.
Once she was out of intensive care,
doctors began to consider what could
be done about the paralysis of the left
side of her face, which had caused great
distress to her parents when they were
reunited with her in Birmingham.
Malala s father felt she had lost her
"When she used to try to smile I
would look at my wife and a shadow
would fall on her face, because she
thought, This is not the same Malala
I gave birth to, this is not the girl who
made our lives colourful. "
Malala s ear specialist Richard Irving
thinks that in those early weeks, she
was troubled by her new appearance.
Continues on Page B6
She won't be silenced
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