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A photo of Malala wearing a purple scarf and a green top. She is smiling.

Malala Has Sixth Surgery From “One Taliban Bullet” & Highlights Afghans Who’ve Taken “Millions of Bullets”

Malala Yousafzai has revealed she has undergone a sixth round of surgery, nine years after being shot in the head by the Taliban.

Writing in her Podium bulletin, the human rights activist and Nobel laureate says she had the operation in Boston two weeks ago, as the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan.

“Over the next few days, with ice packs and a bandage wrapped around my head, I watched as province after province fell to men with guns, loaded with bullets like the one that shot me.”


“As soon as I could sit up again, I was making phone calls, writing letters to heads of state around the world and speaking with women’s rights activists still in Afghanistan.”

In the newsletter, Malala describes her full surgical journey from 2012 until now as doctors have reconstructed her skull, sharing the physical and emotional scars that have followed, as well as photos of the various stages of her recovery including this one, taken in hospital shortly after the attack:


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A post shared by Malala (@malala)

But the purpose of Malala’s story is to highlight the relentless suffering of the Afghan people. In describing her own experience of having immense public support, she points out how important it is for all of us to keep speaking out for them. To keep learning about and amplifying their stories. Because she knows very well, her own story could’ve turned out very differently:

“Without the crowds of people holding ‘I am Malala’ signs, without thousands of letters and offers of support, prayers and news stories, I might not have received medical care. My parents certainly wouldn’t have been able to cover the costs on their own. I might not have survived.”

She ends by explaining that nine years on, she is still “recovering from just one bullet” while “the people of Afghanistan have taken millions of bullets over the last four decades.”

“My heart breaks for those whose names we will forget or never even know, whose cries for help will go unanswered.”

You can read Malala’s powerful words in full HERE.

Hollywood star and filmmaker Mindy Kaling was among those praising Malala in the comments of her post. She so beautifully sums up what so many of us think of the young activist:

“We are so blessed to have you, sharing your remarkable story of resilience and strength.”

(Feature Image Credit: 内閣官房内閣広報室, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

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