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The New York Times "Sunday Book Review" about "A Woman Among Warlords"

Joya’s life has been singular and heroic.

By Marc Tracy, The New York Times, December 10, 2009

A Woman Among Warlords by Malalai Joya

The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice.
By Malalai Joya with Derrick O’Keefe.
Scribner, $25.

In this memoir, Joya, an Afghan activist and politician, bears witness to the horrific experience known as “being female in Afghanistan.” She conveys the indignity of the forced wearing of the burqa with a power that distant and abstract condemnation can never muster: “You have no peripheral vision because of the netting in front of your eyes,” she relates. “And it’s hot and suffocating under there.” Joya’s life has been singular and heroic: a covert educator of young girls in the western city of Herat, she was elected at 25 to the constitutional loya jirga of 2003. There, she gave a rabble-rousing speech — which you can and should watch on YouTube — branding the post-Taliban Afghanistan’s higher-ups, many of whom were present in the packed Kabul room, as “criminals.”

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ملالی جویا قامت بلندی بر اندیشۀ آزادی!

کوشش دو چندان خانم عزیز بر اینست که پرده‌ای ضخیم به روی جنایات جهادی های بیمایه‌ای چون احمدشاه مسعود، سیاف، ربانی ، حکمتیار و مزاری و دوستم بکشد

نعمت الله ترکانی، کابل پرس، ۹ دسامبر ۲۰۰۹

درین هفته در سایت «خاوران» دو نوشتۀ پر از عقده و سرپا مبتذل به قلم فرشته حضرتی و جوانی به نام علی میثم نظری به نشر رسیده. این جوان میثم که خیال میشود از بچه خوانده های فوزیه کوفی است تا توانسته دشنام های بی مورد به ملالی جویا حواله نموده و گفته های بی سر و ته جنگسالاران جهادی را تکرار کرده و در نوشتۀ بی مایه اش چیز تازۀ ندارد. ولی خانم فرشته حضرتی گویا چیز تازۀ را بنام اندیشه فقیر ملالی جویا طرح نموده است که قابل بحث است.

خانم حضرتی اینرا قبول دارد که ملالی جویا نام شناخته شده‌ای در میان مردم افغانستان و رسانه های بین‌المللی دارد و به شهرت جهانی رسیده است. او همچنان اشاره‌ای دارد به لویه جرگه و سخنان ملالی جویا و خشم رهبران جهادی؛ و علت فروکش کردن خشم رهبران جهادی را به خواست زلمی خلیلزاد ارتباط داده است. فرشته جان اقرار میکند که اگر وساطت زلمی خلیلزاد نمیبود ملالی جویا حتی به موطن اصلی‌اش ولایت فراه هم نمیرسید یعنی که لزومن باید ترور و سر به نیست میشد چه رسد به اینکه از همین ولایت کاندید پارلمان و نمایندگی مردمش را در پارلمان بدست آورد.

ادامه مطلب


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.”

Tags: Videos

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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

Malalai Joya

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.

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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

A Woman Among Warlords

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.

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“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

Malalai Joya

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.

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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

Malalai Joya

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.

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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

ملالی جویا: زنی در بین جنگسالاران

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.

ادامه مطلب


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

Malalai Joya in Brown University - USA

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.

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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

Joya in Farah
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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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An Afghan Woman Speaks Out

“Good people cannot be silent”

By Synne Hall Arnøy, WinWomenSpeak, November 30, 2009

Malalai Joya

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.

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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”.

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