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In 2009, at age 11, many people got to know her through a weblog of the BBC News' Urdu language service. The BBC published translated writings about her life under Taliban rule. On 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Atta Ullah Khan, a Taliban gunman. She was given emergency treatment in Pakistan and then moved to England for more medical treatment. She had titanium plate put over hole in skull and cochlear implant to restore her hearing.
In May 2012 David Trumble, an award-winning artist, made a cartoon of Yousafzai as a Disney princess as part of a drawing of other feminist icons that he had made into princesses that was in the Huffington Post.
On 12 July 2013, at age 16, she made a speech at headquarters of the United Nations, stressing the right to education for all and for human rights and peace and non-violence against terrorism and intolerance citing the proverb: "the pen is mightier than the sword".
She was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. She has won a lot of prizes. She is the 2013 recipient of the Sakharov Prize. She was one of the winners of Glamour magazine's Women of the Year. Lady Gaga, who was also a winner and was on the month's cover, said that Yousafazi should have been on November's cover of Glamour instead of her.
The Taliban have said that they still want to assassinate Yousafzai.
In October 2013 a book about her life I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban was published, with her help. The book was banned in Pakistani private schools.
On 27 November 2013 Yousafazi was given the GG2 Hammer Award at the GG2 (Garavi Gujarat2) Leadership Awards 2013.
Yousafazi was chosen by TIME magazine as a candidate for 2013's Person of the Year.
She was nominated for the World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child in 2014.
- "Successful Surgery For Pakistani Girl Whose Shooting Has Caused Outrage". NPR. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/10/10/162626193/successful-surgery-for-pakistani-girl-whose-shooting-has-caused-outrage. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Declan Walsh (4 January 2013). "Girl shot by Pakistani Taliban is discharged from hospital". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/world/asia/malala-yousafzai-shot-by-pakistani-taliban-is-discharged-from-hospital.html?_r=0. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Malala undergoes two successful surgeries: Hospital". The Times of India. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-03/uk/36720630_1_malala-yousafzai-cochlear-implant-successful-surgeries. Retrieved 15 February 2013.