Teen Girl Shot by Taliban Speaks on her 16th Birthday - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Teen Girl Shot by Taliban Speaks on Her 16th Birthday

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The Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban spent her 16th birthday speaking at a youth assembly at the United Nations in New York. She was accompanied by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other dignitaries.

UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, introduced Malala Yousafzai to the hundreds of teens in the audience. "As Malala comes to the stage to speak to you, let me repeat the words the Taliban never wanted her to hear: Happy 16th birthday Malala," he said. 

Malala received a standing ovation for her courage, and determination following an assassination attempt by the Taliban in Pakistan. "On the night of October 2012 the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead," she said. "They shot my friends too. They thought the bullet would silence us, but they failed."

Malala came to the United Nations on her 16th birthday to address 500 young people from nearly 100 countries. She called for world leaders to make sure that all children have access to education.

Fifteen-year-old Amanda Gallop represented Nevada at the Youth Assembly. "It was amazing," she said. "It was so great because about two months ago I wrote a research project on Malala and it was just so great to see her in person and hear about her struggles and everything she's been through." 

Malala's birthday marked the first-ever Youth Assembly at the United Nations. She told the teens her ordeal has made her stronger. "Weakness, fear and hopelessness died," she said." Strength, fervor and courage was born."

According to the UN Secretary General, there are 57 million children in developing countries who don't have access to education. Malala's message to the teen delegates was to get the word out to others. "She asked us all to go out and make a difference and try to change the world, and fight for an education that unfortunately many people don't have," said Gallop.               

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has taken up Malala's cause to educate children around the world. "She's calling on us now to keep our promises, invest in young people and put education first," said the secretary general.

Written by Jennifer Burton

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