Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck last October by young Taliban gunmen in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Her attack became international news. Malala had been a vocal advocate for the education of girls at a time when Taliban thugs were actually blowing up girls schools and threatening families for educating girls beyond the age of 15. There's a great NY Times doc online here.
While we know of the Swat Valley as a politically unstable haven for conservative militant Islamists, Swat was once a religious center for Buddhism and Tantrik philosophy. Great scholars, philosophers and saints emerged from the Swat Valley cultivating yogic thought and practice.
Malala was riding a bus home from school when the attackers shot her. Public out cry and international aid saved Malala's life. She was operated on in a Pakistani military hospital and once in stable condition was airlifted to the UK for more treatment. The 16-year-old has made remarkable recovery over the last few months, and continues on her campaign for education. Here she is in one of her first public interviews since her recovery.
In the face of bigotry, ignorance, sexism, oppression—humility, compassion, determination—this is how saints are made.