2009: Tender Moments from Malala's Personal Diary

photo credit: gazettereview.com

photo credit: gazettereview.com

Malala was born on July 12, 1997 in the Swat District of Pakistan's northwestern region. She became an advocate for girls' education and very soon her campaign began to attract the malicious attention of the Taliban community. This culminated in October 2012 when the 15 year old was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman: she survived the assault and received medical treatment in the UK, where she now lives and attends school. Her continuous activity in the field of human rights, even after risking her life, granted her the 2013 nomination as one of TIME magazine's most influential people followed by the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

Five years earlier, when she was still living in Pakistan, she started writing a diary exposing life under Taliban rule. Hereunder are some of the most moving entries she wrote followed by her inspirational speech as the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize.

Saturday 3 January
I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taliban. I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. My mother made me breakfast and I went off to school. I was afraid going to school because the Taliban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools. On my way from school to home I heard a man saying 'I will kill you'. I hastened my pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else over the phone.

Thursday 15 January
Today is ... the last day before the Taliban's edict comes into effect, and my friend was discussing homework as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Today, I also read the diary written for the BBC (in Urdu) and published in the newspaper. My mother liked my pen name 'Gul Makai' and said to my father 'why not change her name to Gul Makai?' I also like the name because my real name means 'grief stricken'.

Thursday 22 January
Some of my friends have left Swat because the situation here is very dangerous. I do not leave home. At night Maulana Shah Dauran [the Taleban cleric who announced the ban on girls attending school] once again warned females not to leave home. He also warned that they would blow up those schools which are used by the security forces as security posts.

Saturday 25 January
It seems that it is only when dozens of schools have been destroyed and hundreds others closed down that the army thinks about protecting them. Had they conducted their operations here properly, this situation would not have arisen.

Sunday 8 February
I am sad watching my uniform, school bag and geometry box. I felt hurt on opening my wardrobe and seeing my uniform, school bag and geometry box. Boys' schools are opening tomorrow. But the Taliban have banned girls' education.

Tuesday 19 February
I told my brothers that we will not talk of war but peace from now on. We received the information from our school headmistress that examinations will be held in the first week of March. I have stepped up my studies.