STOCKTON, CA - A vigil for a 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban drew more than 100 people to the Stockton waterfront Wednesday evening.
Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head in her hometown of Mingora, Pakistan on Oct. 9, when a man in a motorscooter fired into her schoolbus.
The Taliban have called her outspoken support of education and civil rights "an obscenity."
The 6:30 p.m. vigil at the Weber Point Events Center brought people of all backgrounds and ages.
For some at the vigil, Yousufzai's plight felt very personal.
"I actually grew up in that part of the country and I know how hard it is for girls to rise up to the occasion, to challenge the status quo and go and seek an education," said Dr. Asma Jafrid, a Stockton doctor born in Pakistan.
Stockton Mayor Ann Johnson, who once worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran, was one of about a dozen speakers.
"We stand with Malala and the Pakistani people who want to wipe out this kind of terror in their country," Johnson said.
One young woman who addressed the gathering, said Yousufzai had been an inspiration to her as she pursues her education.
"And I look at this woman, Malala, who serves as a role model to me and all the women around the world who are struggling for an education, for a voice," said the woman, who described herself as half-Pakastani.
Yousufzai is now recovering from her wounds at a hospital in London, where she was taken for a followup surgery.