​Christiane Amanpour Interviews Defiant Malala

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October 12, 2013

Christiane Amanpour interviewed a defiant Malala Yousafzai, whose advocacy for education made her the target of a Taliban assassination attempt a year ago, on Thursday. The Pakistani girl whose advocacy for education made her a target.

Christiane Amanpour Malala

The Taliban tried to assassinate her last year, but she told an audience in New York that she one day hopes to become her country’s prime minister.

Yousafzai spoke to Amanpour for a few hours after being awarded Europe’s top human rights prize and on the eve of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize, for which she is considered a likely contender.

Asked if she wanted to be a doctor or a politician, Malala said she initially wanted to be a doctor but had learned she could help more people as prime minister.

“I can spend much of the budget on education,” Malala said to applause and laughter as she sat next to her father, human rights activist Ziauddin Yousafzai, the founder of an all-girls school in Pakistan.

In the interview, to be broadcast on CNN on Sunday, Malala recounted the moment she was shot while sitting in the back of a vehicle traveling home from school and reiterated that she was not intimidated by threats.

“I’m never going to give up,” Malala said when asked about repeated death threats made against her by the Taliban.

“They only shot a body but they cannot shoot my dreams.”

On Oct. 9, 2012, a masked gunman jumped into a pickup truck taking girls home from the school and shouted “who is Malala” before shooting her in the head.

Her father asked his brother-in-law to prepare a coffin. But Malala woke up a week later at a hospital in Birmingham, England, and gradually regained her sight and her voice.

She said Thursday her first thought was of two friends she was with who were also injured in the attack.

“If I was shot that was fine for me but I was feeling guilty that they have been the target,” she said.

The world’s horrified reaction to the attack led to the creation of Malala Fund, which campaigns for girls’ education around the world. Malala has received multiple awards, including the $65,000 Sakharov Award, which she was awarded just hours before her interview.