Pakistani girl shot by Taliban appears on video

Malala Yousufzai, shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls' education, announces the Malala Fund in a pre-surgery video. The fund will further the very goal that made her a target.

LONDON — A Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban has made her first video statement since she was nearly killed, saying in a video released Monday that she is recovering.

Speaking clearly but with the left side of her face appearing rigid, 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai said she is "getting better, day by day."

"Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone," she said in the video, made available by a public relations firm. "It's just because of the prayers of people. Because all people — men, women, children — all of them have prayed for me. And because of all these prayers God has given me this new life, a second life. I'm feeling alright and I'm happy that the operations, both operations, were successful.

"And I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated. For that reason, we have organized the Malala Fund."

VIDEO: Pakistani girl: 'I am alive. I can speak'

Malala, an activists for girls education, was shot at close range by Taliban militants as she left school Oct. 9 on a school bus in northwestern Pakistan. The Islamist group said it targeted her because she promoted girls' education and "Western thinking" and criticized the militant group's behavior when it took over the scenic Swat Valley where she lived.

The shooting sparked outrage in Pakistan and many other countries, and her story has captured global attention for the struggle for women's rights in her homeland. The widespread condemnation and fueled an online campaign to nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize. In a sign of her impact, the teen made the short list for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2012.

Malala was airlifted to Britain from Pakistan in October to receive specialized medical care and protection against further Taliban threats. She is expected to remain in the U.K. for some time as her father, Ziauddin, has received a diplomatic post based in the English city of Birmingham.

The video statement was published Monday, hours after Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital said it had successfully operated to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing. But the public relations firm Edelman said the video was shot on Jan. 22.

The Malala Fund is a girls' education charity set up in late 2012. It was launched with a $10 million donation from Pakistan.

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