After the BBC diary ended, Yousafzai and her father were approached by New York Times reporter Adam B. Ellick about filming a documentary,which is where many details of this time are captured. In May, the Pakistani Army moved into the region to regain control during the Second Battle of Swat. Mingora was evacuated and Yousafzai’s family was displaced and separated. Her father Ziauddin went to Peshawar to protest and lobby for support, while she was sent into the countryside to live with relatives.
“I’m really bored because I have no books to read”
Yousafzai is filmed saying in the documentary. Her mother was not allowed to be filmed.
That month, after criticizing militants at a press conference, Yousafzai’s father, Ziauddin, received a death threat over the radio by a Taliban commander. Obsessed by his mission to restore the Swat Valley, her father also happened to forget Yousafzai’s birthday,and with typical boldness, she ridiculed him in a text message and forced him to apologize, and to buy everyone a round of ice cream.But Yousafzai was deeply inspired in her activism by her father. That summer, for the first time, she committed to becoming a politician and not a doctor, as she had once aspired to be.
By early July, refugee camps were filled to capacity, and Taliban commanders were still alive. The prime minister made a long-awaited announcement saying that it was safe to return to the Swat Valley. The Pakistani military had pushed the Taliban out of the cities and into the countryside. After three months of separation, Yousafzai’s family reunited, and on 24 July 2009 they headed home. They made one stop first – to meet with a group of other grassroots activists that had been invited to see United States President Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. Yousafzai pleaded with Holbrooke to intervene in the situation, saying
“Respected ambassador, if you can help us in our education, so please help us”.
When her family finally did return home, they found it had not been damaged, and her school had sustained only light damage.