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Teenager Malala Yousafzai Says Taliban Gunshot Made Her Stronger

By Staff Reporter | Jul 13, 2013 06:55 AM EDT

Malala
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage-girl who was nearly killed by Taliban gunmen for campaigning for girls’ education was on Friday given a standing ovation at the U.N. headquarters in New York (Photo : HNGN)

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage-girl who was nearly killed by Taliban gunmen for campaigning for girls' education, in her first formal public remarks at the United Nations said that the gunshot took away her fear and made her stronger than ever.

"Dear friends, on the 9th of October, 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends too. They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed," said Malala Yousafzai in front of all the U.N. delegates including the General Secretary Ban Ki-moon.

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" Out of that silence came thousands of voices," added Malala, making her first public speech after she was attacked by the Taliban.

Wearing a pink head scarf, Malala gave her account of her encounter with the Taliban gunmen while reaffirming her commitment to be a voice for the voiceless.

Her passionate speech at the U.N. marked her 16th birthday. She emphasized that education was the only solution to improve lives. Her speech earned her a standing ovation from the Secretary General  and nearly 1,000 students who were attending  the meeting.

"Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution," said Malala Yousafzai in her speech at the U.N. which was webcast live.

The United Nations declared Friday as Malala Day, however, Malala dedicated the day to thousands of her kinds of people across the world.

"Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured," said Malala. "I am just one of them. So here I stand, one girl among many."

"I speak not for myself but for those without voice ... those who have fought for their rights -- their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated," said she.

Malala, who had been frequently updating a blog for BBC Urdu campaigning for girls' education, was shot by the Taliban along with her two friends in Pakistan while returning home from school.

Click here to watch the full speech of the Pakistani teenager. 

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