Malala Yousafzai's Profound Insight in the Aftermath of the Attempt on Her Life

Season 7 Episode 626
Aired on 10/11/2015 | CC
Malala Yousafzai's bravery made her a target.

Malala grew up in the Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan, where, during multiple periods, the Taliban, an extremist Islamic group, had banned girls from attending school. Her parents owned a chain of schools in the region, and when she was just 11 years old, Malala began writing an anonymous blog for the BBC about her experience under Taliban occupation and how it was affecting women's access to education.

Four years later, to prevent her from disseminating her beliefs, a Taliban gunman shot Malala three times, nearly killing her while the young activist was on her way home from an exam. The brutal attack and her bravery in the face of hostile opposition brought her international recognition and a Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest recipient ever.

During their Super Soul Sunday interview, Oprah asks Malala how her life transformed in the immediate aftermath of the assault. "Tell me, in what way did your near death and the world's outcry—prayers, candles lit around the world—in what way did that experience deepen the meaning of your life?"

Initially, Malala says, she didn't know there was an outpouring of public support, and when doctors and hospital staff began bringing letters on a daily basis, she was moved.

"It strengthened my belief in prayers," Malala says, "that the prayers of people are so powerful that it can give you life, and that God listens to them, and he just listens to their voices."

Watch as Malala opens up to Oprah about her time in the hospital.