In fact, the Taliban had threatened to silence her long before she was shot. Sometimes she would imagine a terrorist jumping out and shooting her as she climbed the steps beyond the locked iron gate to her home. "I wondered what I would do," she told one reporter. "Maybe I'd take off my shoes and hit him. But then I'd think that if I did that, there would be no difference between me and a terrorist. It would be better to plead, 'Okay, shoot me, but first listen to me. What you are doing is wrong. I'm not against you personally. I just want every girl to go to school.' "
Imagine that. A little girl, beginning at age 11, CHOSE to stare down the Taliban--and, more important, without malice in her heart. Even after a bullet went through her left eye socket and out under her left shoulder; after undergoing multiple surgeries and painful recovery. Rather than shrinking behind fear and loathing, she has chosen to use what happened to her as a catalyst. "It feels like this life is not my life," she says now. "It's a second life ... I was spared for a reason--to use my life for helping people."
And so she continues her campaign today, more determined than ever to educate women and end their cycle of poverty. In so doing, she's become an international inspiration and her 'Malala Fund' now raises money worldwide to empower girls through education.
AN UPDATE: Earlier this month, Malala's attackers were finally arrested and will stand trial. I don't think those arrests would ever have happened without the growing pressure and international attention this brave young woman, now 17-years-old, has brought to bear on the plight of women in major parts of the world.