Young Taliban target Malala, now a global icon, to release autobiography

AFP-JIJI

Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl who was shot by the Pakistani Taliban for promoting girls’ education, will tell her life story in a book due out this year, the publishers say, in a deal worth around $3 million.

The book will be titled “I Am Malala,” the publishers revealed.

Malala was shot at point-blank range by a Taliban gunman as her school bus traveled through northwest Pakistan’s Swat Valley last Oct. 9. She was flown to Britain for surgery on her head injuries and returned to school in Birmingham, central England, this month.

Malala has become a symbol of the campaign for girls’ right to education and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In an extract released by the publishers, Malala described the day she was shot.

“We’d finished for the day and I was squashed between my friends and teachers on the benches of the open-back truck we use as a school bus,” she writes.

“There were no windows, just thick plastic sheeting that flapped at the sides and was too yellowed and dusty to see out of, and a postage stamp of open sky at the back through which I caught a glimpse of a kite wheeling up and down. It was pink, my favorite color.”

Malala, now 15, first rose to prominence at age 11 via a blog for the BBC’s Urdu-language service charting her life under the Taliban.