From The Telegraph:
Malala Yousafzai made the inspirational speech as she officially opened Birmingham's brand new £188 million library – 11 months after she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. The 16-year-old was flown to the UK after a hit-man barged onto her school bus in Pakistan and fired at her at point blank range in October last year. She was targeted after she heroically spoke out against the regime and called for greater women's rights despite Islamic fundamentalists trying to impose a strict form of sharia law in the country. The schoolgirl survived the assassination attempt and was treated at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The inspirational youngster has remained in the city ever since where she has made a remarkable recovery and now attends a local school. She opened the futuristic-state-of-the art library on Tuesday where she told a crowd of 300 people that by educating 'minds, hearts and souls' she believed global peace could be achieved. She told the crowd gathered in Birmingham's Centenary Square: “Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to begin with my personal story. “In my school in Swat, I was considered to be a good obedient student and I also used to get top marks in my class. “Apart from my school text books I read nine books from the library. “I thought I did a great job in my whole 15 years of life. “But last year, seven days after the incident that I faced, I was brought here to Birmingham for further treatment. “When I was discharged from the hospital, I was introduced to this new society, which is different from our society in Pakistan, in many ways. “Here people tell me that they have read hundreds of books. “It does not matter how old they are, they take a keen interest in reading, even children of six and seven years have read more books than me. “Now I have challenged myself that I will read thousands of books and I will empower myself with knowledge. “Pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism.
“I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds, but our hearts and our souls. “This is the way forward to our destiny of peace and prosperity. “Books are very precious – some books can travel you back centuries and some take you into the future. “In some books you will visit the core of your heart and in others you will go out into the universe. “Books keep ones feeling alive. “Aristotle's words are steal breathing, Rumi's poetry will always inspire and Shakespeare's soul will never die. “There is no better way to explain the importance of books than say that even God chose the medium of a book to send his message to his people.”