STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Malala returns to Pakistan for the first time since attack

Nearly six years after a brutal attack left her on the verge of death, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has ...

Posted: Mar 29, 2018 12:18 PM
Updated: Mar 29, 2018 12:18 PM

Nearly six years after a brutal attack left her on the verge of death, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has returned to Pakistan.

Yousafzai, 20, arrived at Benazir Bhutto International Airport flanked by heavy security in the early hours of Thursday morning, CNN affiliate Geo TV reported.

News of her surprise arrival made instant headlines in Pakistan, where many see Malala as a hero, but others consider her an agitator who should be silenced.

Following her arrival in the country, Yousafzai met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, according to footage provided by his office to CNN.

From a young age, Yousafzai was an advocate for girls education, writing online about the intimidation efforts of the Pakistani Taliban in Swat Valley, in the country's north.

In 2012, when she was 14, a member of the militant group shot Yousafzai and her classmates as they sat in a school bus in Mingora in Pakistan's Swat Valley.

Two suffered nonlethal injuries, but bullets struck Malala in the head and neck, leaving her in a critical condition.

Severely wounded, Yousafzai was taken by helicopter from one military hospital in Pakistan to another, where doctors placed her in a medically induced coma so an air ambulance could fly her to Great Britain for treatment.

Little more than a week after being shot, Yousafzai got back on her feet again, able to stand when leaning on a nurse's arm at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.

The Taliban released a statement saying that they would target her again if she survived.

Global figure

Yousafzai's ordeal captured attention worldwide and created a wave of goodwill toward her and her cause.

The United Nations launched a campaign for girls' education named "I am Malala," which former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown guided as special envoy on global education. And it declared November 10 Malala Day -- a day of action to focus on "Malala and the 32 million girls like Malala not at school."

Yousafzai founded the Malala Fund, which invests in local educational initiatives for girls in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Kenya, and in Jordan, where it focuses on Syrian refugees.

In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Kailash Satyarthi for activism on behalf of children's rights.

She began studying at Oxford University in the UK last year, but in her most recent public interview, she told talk show host David Letterman about how she missed "the rivers and mountains" of her home in Swat Valley and all she wanted was for her "feet to touch the ground of home."

'She defeated fear'

In her hometown of Mingora, locals were excited to hear of Yousafzai's return to Pakistan, saying they hoped she would make the 250 kilometers (155 miles) trip from Islamabad to visit them in the Swat Valley.

"She should have come back much earlier, we welcome her, she is the pride of the world, why wouldn't she be ours as well?" said Niaz Ahmed, a friend of Malala's father.

"Her courage is an example for education in a place called Swat. She defeated fear in Swat."

Faryal Niaz, a 16-year-old student at the Khushal Model School, where Yousafzai studied before she was shot, said Malala was her idol.

"When girls like us go to school in Swat the only reason is Malala Yousafza," she told CNN.

Teacher Fazal Khaliq said people hadn't expected Malala to return for many more years, and would welcome her visit.

"Malala should come back again and again. She's only completed one school and we hope that she works on more schools in Swat. I feel like today is Eid," he said, referring to the religious holiday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 468498

Reported Deaths: 9100
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison31907468
Hinds30552569
DeSoto29532342
Jackson22868335
Rankin21016355
Lee14393214
Madison13961263
Jones13053215
Forrest12879231
Lauderdale11244292
Lowndes10148171
Lamar9972122
Pearl River8569208
Lafayette8008136
Hancock7110107
Oktibbeha6764117
Washington6756146
Neshoba6350200
Monroe6304156
Warren6267159
Panola6036122
Pontotoc599292
Bolivar5960143
Marshall5917115
Union558885
Pike5424133
Lincoln5192127
Alcorn509388
George454766
Scott447392
Leflore4377138
Tippah431780
Itawamba429192
Prentiss429074
Copiah423883
Simpson4238108
Wayne419663
Tate418999
Adams4174109
Yazoo411486
Sunflower4057104
Covington404891
Marion399699
Leake389784
Coahoma385996
Newton360273
Grenada3489100
Stone342657
Tishomingo320987
Attala318285
Jasper308261
Winston298191
Clay282672
Chickasaw277464
Clarke271784
Holmes257685
Calhoun256939
Smith241546
Yalobusha215447
Tallahatchie213849
Walthall203457
Lawrence202431
Greene202045
Perry195053
Amite191251
Webster191141
Noxubee173437
Montgomery168652
Jefferson Davis164041
Carroll158936
Tunica146533
Benton137531
Kemper136538
Claiborne124134
Choctaw123824
Humphreys122036
Franklin114127
Quitman100925
Wilkinson98335
Jefferson85832
Sharkey61620
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 757893

Reported Deaths: 12784
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1082301712
Mobile694251158
Madison47738562
Baldwin35347420
Shelby34758281
Tuscaloosa32576495
Montgomery32249645
Lee21576200
Calhoun19621363
Morgan19061307
Etowah18363413
Marshall17028252
Houston15881337
St. Clair14724270
Limestone13908178
Elmore13812239
Cullman13756228
Lauderdale12909263
Talladega12124200
DeKalb11705220
Walker10047303
Autauga9371119
Blount9272146
Jackson8970132
Coffee8550150
Colbert8229160
Dale8162142
Escambia632298
Tallapoosa6255165
Covington6214153
Chilton6152128
Russell586753
Franklin558292
Chambers5155127
Dallas4569173
Marion4490114
Clarke447070
Pike439188
Geneva415999
Lawrence4002101
Winston399982
Bibb388975
Barbour334667
Marengo317778
Monroe306844
Butler305878
Pickens296166
Henry288550
Randolph288255
Hale282981
Cherokee275649
Fayette268569
Washington241844
Crenshaw226962
Clay219260
Macon211154
Cleburne205746
Lamar184638
Conecuh173337
Lowndes167856
Coosa160031
Wilcox153033
Bullock145642
Perry132430
Sumter122635
Greene117941
Choctaw71925
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
Columbus
Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 71°
Oxford
Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Starkville
Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: °
The combo of a no named front and former tropical system Nicholas' leftovers will continue leave us with some pretty decent chances for some showers and thunderstorms over the next several days.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather