Ayala Shapira, the teenager who delivered a heartfelt speech at the inaugural conference of the European Friends of Judea and Samaria in the European Parliament this week after having been severely injured in a terrorist attack three years ago, does not plan on letting her injuries stop her from fulfilling her dreams.
"The most lucrative profession in the Palestinian Authority is the murder of a Jew, as I said in my speech in the parliament," Ayala, who turns 14 in three months, said in an interview with Yediot Aharonot.
When she was 11, Ayala was returning from her weekly advanced mathematics course in her father's car when two terrorists on a hill overlooking the road threw a Molotov Cocktail that hit the car window. Ayala suffered severe burns from the attack and was hospitalized for eight months.
One of the attackers was a 16-year-old teenager who carried out the attack not only because he wanted to kill Jews, but also so that the PA would provide for his family as it does for all terrorists who serve time in Israeli prisons for attacking Jews.
After her speech at the Parliament in Brussels, Ayala traveled with the delegation to a restaurant where she removed the pressure mask that makes it difficult for her to eat. "I have no problem with people seeing me like I am," she said. The mask helps to prevent scarring from skin grafts she has undergone. The road ahead includes many more medical procedures, some put off to when she has stopped growing.
"I can't say, 'I want to be beautiful,' because it means that today I'm not beautiful, and that's not true. Of course there are people who are much prettier than me, like my sister Yiska, who is just perfect, but external beauty is not everything in life," she said.
Alaya required four skin transplants so far and months of rehabilitation following her injuries.
"I can not be exposed to the sun, so I wear a hat over the mask," she said.
She must continue to wear the mask until she stops growing.
Ayala is currently focused on her studies, but she already has plans for later in life. "I guess I'll go to National Service. I want to write, to be a writer. I have many sources of inspiration, and of course I dream of a family with as many children as possible."
Arutz Sheva columnist and best-selling author Jack Engelhard heard of Ayala's ambitions while she was convalescing and told her he would be glad to help her realize it, sending her one of his books in the meanwhile.