COME FROM a country which was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.
One year ago I left my home for school and never returned. I was shot by a Taliban bullet and was
flown out of Pakistan unconscious. Some people say I will never return home but I believe firmly in
my heart that I will. To be torn from the country that you love is not something to wish on anyone.
Now, every morning when I open my eyes, I long to see my old room full of my things, my clothes
all over the floor and my school prizes on the shelves. Instead I am in a country which is five hours
behind my beloved homeland Pakistan and my home in the Swat Valley. But my country is centuries
behind this one. Here there is any convenience you can imagine. Water running from every tap, hot or
cold as you wish; lights at the flick of a switch, day and night, no need for oil lamps; ovens to cook on
that don’t need anyone to go and fetch gas cylinders from the bazaar. Here everything is so modern
one can even find food ready cooked in packets.
When I stand in front of my window and look out, I see tall buildings, long roads full of vehicles
moving in orderly lines, neat green hedges and lawns, and tidy pavements to walk on. I close my eyes
and for a moment I am back in my valley – the high snow-topped mountains, green waving fields
and fresh blue rivers – and my heart smiles when it looks at the people of Swat. My mind transports
me back to my school and there I am reunited with my friends and teachers. I meet my best friend
Moniba and we sit together, talking and joking as if I had never left.
Then I remember I am in Birmingham, England.