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Post-attack, Malala makes her first video appearance

February 04, 2013

In this Jan. 22 2013 photo released Monday Feb. 4 2013, 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai relaxes. She has made her first video statement since she was nearly killed, released Monday, saying she is recovering. — AP Photo

LONDON: Teenage peace-activist Malala Yousufzai made her first video statement since she was nearly killed, saying on Monday that she is recovering. 

Speaking clearly but with a slight stiffness in her upper lip, 15-year-old Malala said that she was ''getting better, day by day''.

''Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone,'' she said in the video, made available by a public relations firm. ''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 organized the Malala Fund.''

Malala drew the world's attention when she was shot by Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) militants on October 9 on a school bus in Swat. The terrorist group said they targeted her because she promoted girls' education and ''Western thinking'' and criticised the militant group's behavior when it took over the scenic Swat Valley where she lived.

The shooting sparked outrage in Pakistan and around the world, and her story has captured global attention for the struggle for women's rights in Pakistan. In a sign of her impact, the teen made the shortlist for Time magazine's ''Person of the Year'' for 2012.

Malala was airlifted to Britain from Pakistan in October to receive specialised medical care and protection against further Pakistani Taliban threats. She is expected to remain in the UK for some time as her father, Ziauddin, has received a diplomatic post based in the English city of Birmingham.

The video statement was published Monday, just hours after Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital said they had successfully operated to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing. But the public relations firm Edelman said the video was shot on January 22.

The Malala Fund is a girls' education charity set up in late 2012. It launched with a $10 million donation from Pakistan.