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Malala to meet bus attack friends
Malala Yousafzai, pictured here at a Buckingham Palace reception, will be reunited with two friends from the bus attack which almost killed her
Schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, will be reunited with two friends injured in the same attack today.
Malala, 16, was shot in the head while travelling on a school bus in Pakistan last October as her outspoken views on education and women's rights got her into trouble with the Afghan group.
At Edinburgh University today she is due to address the first public meeting of the Global Citizenship Commission, a body of leaders representing politics, religious institutions, law and philanthropy.
She will be joined by school friends Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan, during the event at the university's McEwan Hall, for the first time since they were attacked.
Kainat and Shazia are now studying in the UK and are travelling to Edinburgh to promote their campaign for education in Pakistan.
Malala is guest of honour at the meeting of the commission, a joint initiative between former prime minister Gordon Brown, New York University and Carnegie UK Trust.
It will discuss global developments since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was passed in 1948.
Mr Brown, UN envoy for global education and MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said: "We all know of Malala's incredible courage, strength and determination, and I'm so pleased that she will be reunited with Shazia and Kainat, two young women equally determined that every girl and boy should enjoy the most basic of human rights: a secure, safe place at school."
The teenagers will later join Mr Brown at a topping-out ceremony for a new primary school in Burntisland, Fife.
"I'm delighted that the people of Fife will meet these three courageous girls at first-hand and as global campaigners for the right of every child to decent schooling, their attendance marks an exciting new chapter for Burntisland Primary School," he said.
Voted one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Malala began blogging for the BBC in 2009 about her life in Pakistan's Swat Valley region and her desire to attend school safely and freely.
Her increasing profile in the global media and her campaigns for universal education and women's rights brought her to the attention of the Taliban which tried to kill her in an attack on her school bus.
She was flown from Pakistan to the UK for emergency treatment and surgeons who treated her said she came within inches of death when the bullet grazed her brain in the shooting.
Malala was treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and has now settled in the city with her family.
The 16-year-old met the Queen at Buckingham Palace yesterday at a reception for the Commonwealth, youth and education.
She spoke about the importance of education and gave the Queen a copy of her book, I Am Malala.
Since the attack she has also addressed the United Nations and was nominated for the Nobel peace prize.