Malala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old girls’ education activist who was shot by the Taliban in October, has finally left the UK hospital where she has been recuperating. Malala has been a voice for the rights of girls and women in her native Pakistan; she was shot in the skull while riding a school bus on October 9, and would have died if not for a lifesaving operation. Several days later, Pakistan had Malala and her family transported to the UK for further medical care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. This week, this brave young girl became an outpatient, as she’s left for her family’s temporary home in the West Midlands. Her father, who is also a vocal advocate for girls’ education, has been hired at a Pakistani embassy, according to the UK’s Guardian. Malala will still have required hospital visits while she’s rehabilitating, plus another reconstructive surgery in the next month or two.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital posted a 30-second, obviously-staged video of Malala on their website, showing her leaving a hospital room on the arm of a nurse and waving goodbye:
Something feels weird about the way the video is staged, though — it makes me feel like the hospital could be using her recovery for good PR. As much as I do very much want the visceral image of a healthier Malala telling the Taliban and their supporters “fuck you, you misogynist assholes” to be spread far and wide, she seems rigid and uncomfortable here. As she’s only 15 and the survivor of a vicious trauma, I very much hope that her parents are actively involved in and on top of any press (both through the hospital and otherwise) that she’ll be participating in following her release.
The Guardian reports that Malala and her family can stay in the UK for up to five years. I look forward to what they can accomplish to raise the profile of girls’ and women’s rights with closer proximity to Western media.
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