Waleed Khan, a student at Army Public School, was shot 8 times in the terrorist attack on his school in Peshawar, in 2014. He underwent 12 life-saving surgeries and, fortunately, recovered to become an advocate for education and anti-radicalisation. Waleed Khan has now been elected as a member of the British Youth Parliament.
A member of the UK Youth Parliament and a #iwill ambassador, he has delivered speeches to more than 1,500 young people in schools and universities across his adopted second home. “My schoolfellows at APS and I were attacked by the enemies of knowledge. But if they think we will retreat, they are wrong.”, Waleed said. “We will answer them with the pen and with education, and we will make sure that the blood of our beloved martyrs will never be in vain”, he said.
Multiple gunshot wounds had left Waleed’s face disfigured and crushed his jaw, his condition was such that even his parents couldn’t recognise at the hospital. “I was unconscious for eight days and after gaining my senses when my mother reached the hospital and called my childhood nickname I responded to it faintly and they were able to find me eight days after the attack,” he recalled.
The severity of his injuries led to him being taken the United Kingdom for specialist medical care and treatment. He ended up staying in a hospital for two years and underwent as many as 12 different surgeries, including six to reconstruct his face. It was during this stay in the UK that Waleed recognised the value of his ordeal. “I began to realise the impact my story could have on others and so, I began speaking to other young students,” he said.
“Only through education can we defeat and take revenge against those who stole the lives of those so dear to us. Only education can vanquish the ideology of terrorism”, Waleed Khan stated.