A Woman Among Warlords

A Woman Among Warlords

The Extraordinary Story of An Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice

Book - 2011
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Malalai Joya was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2010. An extraordinary young woman raised in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan, Joya became a teacher in secret girls' schools, hiding her books under her burqa so the Taliban couldn't find them; she helped establish a free medical clinic and orphanage in her impoverished home province of Farah; and at a constitutional assembly in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2003, she stood up and denounced her country's powerful NATO-backed warlords. She was twenty-five years old. Two years later, she became the youngest person elected to Afghanistan's new Parliament. In 2007, she was suspended from Parliament for her persistent criticism of the warlords and drug barons and their cronies. She has survived four assassination attempts to date, is accompanied at all times by armed guards, and sleeps only in safe houses.

Joya takes us inside this massively important and insufficiently understood country, shows us the desperate day-to-day situations its remarkable people face at every turn, and recounts some of the many acts of rebellion that are helping to change it. A controversial political figure in one of the most dangerous places on earth, Malalai Joya is a hero for our times.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Scribner, 2011, c2009.
Edition: 1st Scribner trade pbk. ed. --
ISBN: 9781439109472
Characteristics: ix, 239 p.
Additional Contributors: O'Keefe, Derrick


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Mar 31, 2013

Not a particuliar easy read; both, from a readibility perspective and subject matter. Leaves one wondering about the true reality of Afghan politics and cultural attitudes towards women. Both Malalai Joya and Fawzia Koffi share somewhat similiar views on the these two issues; but, differ in their approach and are critical of each other, Malalai Joya much more so than Koofi. Difficult to know who is more "on track". Joya is much harsher in her judgement of others and the US in particuliar than Koofi. However, both individuals paint a depressing picture of the political and cultural reality of today's Afghanistan.

Jul 04, 2011

This is an important book for all Americans who care about the war in Afghanistan.
The author, Malalai Joya, was only in her early 20s when she was elected by the women in her community to represent them at a constitutional convention. She was only allowed to speak for 90 seconds but she became world famous because in a few words she denounced the leaders of Afghanistan as warlords and criminals.
She was subsequently elected to Parliament where she continued to be a critic of the many war criminals who were seated there. Because of her words, she was eventually kicked out of parliament and threatened with beatings and even death. She survives by having bodyguards with her constantly and changing her sleeping place from one safe house to the next.
And yet she continues to tell the truth, despite the risk to her life. She criticizes President Karzai, who is supported by the American government, because he allows the warlords and war criminals to continue to have the major power in his administration. She maintains that the US government isn't helping the people of Afghanistan by supporting Karzai and warlords. She wants the US to stop bombing her country because thousands of innocent civilians are being killed.
Read this book; it will make you look differently at Bush's, and now Obama's, war against terror in Afghanistan.

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