Malala recently returned to Pakistan for the first time, after being shot in the head by the Taliban after a period of five and a half years. On her website, she wrote out her entire experience of coming back to her home country in a touching essay, titled ‘My Trip Home.”
Malala was finally able to return to Swat, to the streets she knew and to the place she called home
“We landed on the same helipad where I was flown away on a stretcher. As though time stood still, I was now standing in my bedroom with my mother.”
“Just seeing me standing there made my mother so happy. She said, “Malala left Pakistan with her eyes closed, now she returns with her eyes open.”
And after almost six years, Malala was reunited with her best friend, Moniba, the friend she was with when she was shot at before her entire life changed.
The last time the two of them met, there was nothing but terror around. Now, five and a half years later, it is hard to imagine all the emotions that ran strong in them both after reuniting. Imagine seeing your friends, family and loved ones after years and years in the circumstances Malala had.
Malala recalled how long it had been since she met eyes with any of her friends and family since she had been forced out of her home.
“Besides our home, we had not seen our friends and family for such a long time. More than 500 of our friends and relatives came to greet us with hugs and prayers. We took so many pictures and I love looking at them now that I’m back in UK. But my greatest hope is that it will not be another five and half years before I see their faces again.”
No matter what anyone has to say about Malala, there is something to be said about the moment one returns home. Whether it’s coming back from a period away from home, from college or even just that second when you plop down on your bed after a long day.
Home is something special and something everyone should have the right to. Being forced out of your home in the way that Malala was, was something horrific and absolutely terrifying.
She went on to write,
“This trip was the most exciting, memorable, beautiful and haunting time for me and family. I am grateful to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the government officials, the Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa, the army officials and the team at Malala Fund for making my trip to Pakistan possible for me and my family…”
“…I didn’t leave my country by choice, but I did return by choice.”
All politics aside, everyone should be able to take solace and love in their own home. We hope that Malala will be able to return and reside in her home in Pakistan one day.
Read Malala’s entire essay here.