Afghanistan’s 'Bravest Woman' Pins Hopes on USA, not Obama
Joya’s opposition to the U.S.-NATO occupation of Afghanistan began shortly after foreign troops arrived in 2001
Text: Aaron Glantz / Video: Cliff Parker, New America Media, December 9, 2009
Malalai Joya has been called “Afghanistan’s bravest woman.” When the Taliban ruled her country, she braved death, running an underground girls school. When the US military overthrew the Taliban she ran for parliament.
But that doesn’t mean she’s a supporter of the U.S. military, or President Obama’s decision to double the number of American troops in her country.
“Unfortunately, President Obama’s foreign policy is a lot like [the] criminal Bush,” she said in a sit-down in interview during a recent visit to San Francisco. “He follows war in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Pakistan.”
The Tribune of Afghan Women and the Poor
Review of “Raising My Voice” by Malalai Joya, Rider Books.
By Andy Newman, Socialist Unity, December 9, 2009
As the hundredth British casualty this year is flown back to the UK, there is a real danger that the closing ranks behind the military sacrifice will exclude a proper debate about what the war aims to achieve.
That is why Malalai Joya’s account of her political struggle is so important. She was the youngest female MP elected to the Afghan parliament in December 2005, and has shown extraordinary courage in denouncing the warlords and gangsters that still dominate Afghan life. She was unconstitutionally excluded from the parliament in 2007, and during her time as an MP she was subjected to threats of violence, having her microphone turned off whenever she spoke, and even bombarded by plastic bottles and shoes when criticising the war criminals among her fellow MPs.
Favorite Books of 2009
It was Joya who should have won the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
By Kate Clinton, The Progressive Magazine, December 8, 2009
Malalai Joya’s A Woman Among Warlords (Scribner) tells the amazing story of one of Afghanistan’s leading democracy activists.
The Progressive had the opportunity to meet and interview Joya for our radio show back in 2006. Her steadfast resolve in the face of death threats touched us deeply.
So it was a real pleasure to find out more about her life by reading her autobiography. As a girl she loved poetry and would “read late into the night by the light of our propane lamp” the works of Langston Hughes and Bertolt Brecht. Inspired by her father’s own activism, she tells of opening secret schools for girls in basements, calling it “the most important act of rebellion against the Taliban.” On her wedding day, for security reasons, her bodyguards had to search every flower arrangement for explosives.
“Thousands of Malalais”
“Democracy can’t be donated to a country through occupation, cluster bombs and air raids.” -Malalai Joya.
By Cheryl Kozanitas, Peace Action of San Mateo County, December 2009
In early November Malalai Joya, a 31-year old suspended member of the Afghan Parliament, was in San Jose on a speaking tour of the U.S. She is seeking assistance from the democratic and progressive communities in withdrawing U.S. and NATO troops from her nation, and in sending criminal warlords in the Afghan Parliament to the International Criminal Court. She is also launching her book, “A Woman Among Warlords.” Being in the same room with Joya brought to mind images of Joan of Arc or other heroines from the Middle Ages – not in a religious sense, but in her passion for her people. Her words evoked American and French revolutionaries. As an intellectual and freedom-loving person from Afghanistan, she is instantly put in the category of potential martyr. She has had five assassination attempts on her life so far and she considers it highly likely that she will be killed.
Afghan Hero Malalai Joya: "A Continuation Of A War Crime"
"The Bravest Woman in Afghanistan" is an understatement. Malalai Joya is one of the bravest people in the entire world.
By Turkana, The Left Coaster, December 2, 2009
To those who believe we are escalating the war in Afghanistan to benefit the Afghan people, I suggest you read the words of Malalai Joya. To those who believe we are escalating the war in Afghanistan to benefit Afghan women, I suggest you read the words of Malalai Joya. To those who believe we are escalating the war in Afghanistan because we owe the Afghan people, I suggest you read the words of Malalai Joya.
Who is Malalai Joya? As I wrote in 2007:
Malalai Joya is just five feet tall, unassuming and soft-spoken. On May 21 (2007), she was suspended from the Lower House of the Afghan Parliament for having in an interview compared the Afghan legislature to a stable or zoo.
ملالِی جویا: زنی در میان جنگ سالاران
ملالِی میگوید: یکبار دیگر آمریکا برای حفظ منافع استراتژیک خودش کشور ما را مورد سو استفاده قرار داده است
سارا نیکو، روشنگری، ۲۵ نوامبر ۲۰۰۹
بدون شک نام ملالِی جویا، زن جوانی از سرزمین جنگ زده افغانستان، با تاریخ معاصر مبارزه و مقاومت مردم دلیر افغانستان بر علیه بنیادگرایان اسلامی و بر علیه اشغالگران امپریالیستی، عجین شده است. "زنی در میان جنگ سالاران" اسم کتابی است که اخیراً توسط او به زبان انگلیسی نوشته شده و توسط انتشارات "اسکریبنر" به چاپ رسیده است. در روز اول نوامبر سال جاری نیز مراسمی برای معرفی این کتاب در شهر واشنگتن بر پا شد. آن چه در زیر آمده است توضیحات من در مورد نشست مذکور و هم چنین در مورد محتوای کتاب فوق الذکر می باشد.
در روز اول نوامبر فرصتی شد تا با ملالِی جویا در مراسمی که به مناسبت انتشار کتابش با نام "زنی در میان جنگ سالاران" در واشنگتن بر پا شده بود از نزدیک آشنا شوم. در این مراسم، اکثراً انسان های مترقی و مخالف جنگ و فعالین حقوق بشری آمریکایی شرکت داشتند. کسانی در آنجا حضور داشتند که خود سالهاست بر علیه تجاوز و جنگ خانمان برانداز آمریکا و ناتو در افغانستان و عراق به اشکال مختلف مبارزه کرده اند. با این که اکثر آنها با مضمون نشست آشنائی ذهنی داشتند اما واضح بود که جمعیت حاضر با دقت به سخنان ملالِی جویا گوش می دادند. به سخنان زن جوانی که درد های فراوانی که در سی سال گذشته بر افغانستان رفته و می رود را به زبان انگلیسی برای آن ها باز گو میکرد و گوشه هائی از ستم های وارده به مردم افغانستان را برای همه به تصویر می کشید.
Malalai Joya: Canada must withdraw troops from Afghanistan immediately
It is clear now that the real motive of the U.S. and its allies was to convert Afghanistan into a military base in Central Asia ....
By Malalai Joya, Vancouver Free Press, December 2, 2009
I have just completed a two-week speaking tour across Canada, bringing a message to the great people of this country: The people of Afghanistan are fed up with the occupation of their country and with the corrupt, Mafia-state of Hamid Karzai and the warlords and drug lords backed by NATO.
On behalf of the suffering people of Afghanistan, I offer my condolences to the families here who have lost their loved ones. I believe these fallen soldiers, themselves, are the victims of the wrong policy of your government. The families of Afghan civilians killed in this war share your feelings of loss.
US troops increase as local hero says no – Afghanistan’s Malalai Joya
Teaching literacy classes at the age of 19, Malalai dedicated her life to speak out for those who could not speak
Joseph Mayton, Women News Network – WNN, December 1, 2009
Malalai Joya visits girls school in Farah Province, July 17, 2007.
Her name doesn’t roll off the tongue easily. But what makes Malalai Joya who she is has nothing to do with her name. It is the fact that the former Afghanistan Member of Parliament is not shy about speaking her mind. It has run her into danger, literally, with Joya being forced to bolster her security in 2006 as she continued to speak out against the corruption of the Afghanistan government in the face of death threats. Now she’s talking about U.S. troops increase as President Obama sets a brand new policy for Afghanistan.
In September 2005, at the age of 27, Joya was one of the youngest MPs voted into the Afghan Assembly (Parliament), also known as the Constitutional Loya Jirga. She gained popularity with the people from her province to the south of Afghanistan much earlier, in 1998, founding orphanages, teaching at secret “Taliban banned” schools for girls and setting up the first dedicated women’s clinic at the Hamoon Health Centre.
A troop surge can only magnify the crime against Afghanistan
If Barack Obama heralds an escalation of the war, he will betray his own message of hope and deepen my people's pain
By Malalai Joya, The Guardian, November 30, 2009
After months of waiting, President Obama is about to announce the new US strategy for Afghanistan. His speech may be long awaited, but few are expecting any surprise: it seems clear he will herald a major escalation of the war. In doing so he will be making something worse than a mistake. It is a continuation of a war crime against the suffering people of my country.
I have said before that by installing warlords and drug traffickers in power in Kabul, the US and Nato have pushed us from the frying pan to the fire. Now Obama is pouring fuel on these flames, and this week's announcement of upwards of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan will have tragic consequences.
A Painting of Malalai Joya, “A River is Formed Drop by Drop”
Painting: Oil on Canvas, 80 by 60 inches
April Waters (USA), November 30, 2009
I met Malalai Joya when she was being interviewed by Amy Goodman at the Democracy Now Studio in New York. I had just painted a portrait of "Peace Mom", Cindy Sheehan, to protest the Iraq war and to share the cause for peace from a mother's point of view. I was so fortunate to meet Malalai and have the opportunity to paint her portrait to help tell the story of the Afghan Woman's struggle to survive amidst war and oppression. Malalai inspires so many by her courage to teach girls to read, provide them medical care, speak out for women's rights and her fierce truth telling. My hope is that all the women of Afghanistan and the world will have equal rights, quality education and a healthy environment to thrive in.
“The US and Canada cannot gift us democracy.”
Malalai Joya speaks to Canadians on her cross-country tour
By Iftekhar Kabir, TrentArthur.ca, 30 November 2009
In a recent article for In These Times, Noam Chomsky spoke of her as one of the “truly worthy choices” for the Nobel Peace Prize. At age thirty-one, suspended Afghan MP, Malalai Joya, already has more than a decade of experience resisting oppression and injustice. From her teen years spent in refugee camps, she has been working towards grass roots social development by helping provide education and health care to war-torn people. For her years of work she has recently been dubbed, “the bravest woman in Afghanistan.” I heard her speak on November 18 at the Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre in Toronto.
An Afghan Woman Speaks Out
“Good people cannot be silent”
By Synne Hall Arnøy, WinWomenSpeak, November 30, 2009
Malalai Joya was ousted from the Afghan parliament because she dared to raise her voice. Now she asks you to raise yours.
“I often say that silence of good people is worse than actions of bad people,” Joya said in her address at USF November 9, 2009. Although physically small, the Afghan woman combines giant courage with calm compassion to easily fill the hearts of the audience. “As justice loving, democratic persons we must all contribute to stop the war that the Afghan people have been suffering from for too long,” she boldly declared. “We must stop the criminals by speaking the truth.”
The truth Joya referred to is simple: freedom cannot be won through occupation. Peace and democracy cannot be won through war. “Some people ask me about good war versus bad war. My answer to them is: there is no good war. War is war,” Joya stated. “Afghanistan does not need liberators from foreign countries,” she continued, “we need the U.S. and NATO troops to leave so that we can be our own liberators.” Joya is quick to meet the argument she is faced with most often: if the troops are pulled out they will leave civilians as victims in an upcoming civil war. “Let me make one thing very clear,” she said resolutely: “There was already a civil war in Afghanistan when the occupation began. The mice in the war have become wolfs with American support. If they do not stop arming them now they will become dinosaurs.
Malalai Joya: her struggle is our struggle
Joya’s book is valuable for dispelling the fluff that passes for most analysis and reporting on the West’s war in Afghanistan.
By Phil Shannon, Green Left Weekly, Issue #820, 2 December 2009
When Malalai Joya described some members of the Afghan parliament in 2007 as belonging in a “zoo or a stable” in 2007, the howls and screeches from its fundamentalist and warlord members was predictable. They seized on her comments as a pretext for a plot to have the feminist parliamentarian permanently suspended for “insulting the institution of parliament”.
In her autobiography, Raising My Voice, Joya notes the irony that the leaders of the countries with troops in Afghanistan never commented on her illegal suspension “even through they say their militaries are in Afghanistan to help build democracy”.
Malalai Joya completes cross-Canada book tour
The success of her tour bodes well for the anti-war movement in Canada
By Derrick O'Keefe, Rabble.ca, November 27, 2009
Malalai Joya wraps up her cross-Canada book tour in Ottawa Friday. Her tour started two weeks ago in Vancouver with a launch attended by about 1000 people at Saint Andrew's Wesley Church. Having travelled on the first half of the cross-Canada trip -- I co-wrote the book, A Woman Among Warlords, with her -- I can testify to the great response she has received at packed meetings against the war in city after city. The success of her tour bodes well for the anti-war movement in Canada, especially at this moment where the Harper government is mired in scandal over its complicity in the torture of Afghans.
ملالی جویا؛ 'زنی در میان جنگسالاران'
در غرب، صدای خانم جویا را به دلیل انتقاد از جنگسالاران در افغانستان، صدای مردم این کشور می دانند
بی بی سی فارسی، ۲۶ نوامبر ۲۰۰۹
ملالی جویا، از چهره های بحث برانگیز در افغانستان که با انتقاد از فرماندهان سابق این کشور در لویه جرگه قانون اساسی در سال ۲۰۰۳ به شهرت جهانی رسید، به تازگی در مورد زندگی خود در افغانستان کتاب نوشته است.
خانم جویا می گوید هدف از نوشتن این کتاب زیر عنوان "زنی در میان جنگسالاران"، نشان دادن سیمای سیاسی و نظامی افغانستان به کشورهای غربی است.
خانم جویا می گوید در این کتاب با حضور نیروهای آمریکایی و ناتو در افغانستان به شدت مخالفت کرده و افغانستان را یک کشور اشغال شده دانسته است.
او می گوید: "ما تاریخ پر افتخاری داریم که هرگز اشغال را قبول نمی کند. باور دارم که مردم رنج کشیده ام در آینده نیز بر ضد اشغال می ایستند و درس خوبی به اشغالگرانی چون آمریکا و ناتو خواهند داد؛ چنانچه در گذشته به انگلیس و روسها داده بودند."
- Colvin's testimony true: former Afghan MP
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- “The Bravest Woman in Afghanistan”: Megaphone speaks with Malalai Joya
- Afghan MP to Canada: "Leave My Country as Soon as Possible"
- لمبه یا لمــــــــــپه؟
- Video: Malalai Joya’s Nov. 2009 Winnipeg visit
- مصاحبه رادیو پیام با ملالی جویا
- The Bravest Woman: Malalai Joya at New York University
- Joya: US backed fundamentalism is at the root of the Afghan problem; Foreign troops should get out now
- 'Bravest woman in Afghanistan' spearheads anti-war movement
- The woman who dared to raise her voice
- 'Bravest woman in Afghanistan' tours Canada
- Q&A: "Karzai Assigned a Rabbit to Take Care of the Carrot"
- Malalai Joya in The Current program of CBC Radio
- The bravest woman in Afghanistan
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- Interview with Malalai Joya, author of 'A Woman Among Warlords'
- Soldiers' blood wasted in Afghanistan, author says
- Malalai Joya in Toronto: Report
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- MoJo Interview: Malalai Joya
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- Malalai Joya: 'A Woman among Warlords'
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- مصاحبه آرش کمانگر از "راه کارگر" با ملالی جویا
- Malalai Joya, war and moving forward
- Afghan women's leader Joya brings anti-war message to Vancouver