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The Afghan love story with a happy ending

Rape victims are often violated twice: by their attackers and by society. But, as Glyn Strong reports, one girl has rebuilt her life

Glyn Strong, The Independent, July 9, 2010

Samia relaxes with her family
Samia relaxes with her family and Malalai Joya. (Photo: DAVID GILL)

The day starts at Samia's parents' home. The young woman and her sweetheart are asked by a mullah if they understand what they are undertaking. Then begins the serious task of preparing the bride. Like any Western wedding, it revolves around hair, make-up and "the dress".

Here in Afghanistan, Samia's story is typical – its happy ending is not.

Samia is a rape victim, but now it's the morning of her wedding. By late afternoon, she will be married in a private ceremony in Karte Se, Kabul. One of the 150 guests at this extraordinary marriage ceremony will be the activist and suspended MP Malalai Joya: Samia's handsome husband-to-be, Faramarz, has been one of Ms Joya's bodyguards for more than four years.

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Human Croquet in Absurdistan?

The wedding that Joya facilitated was a rare beacon of hope for women whose fate once featured so prominently in talk of Millennium Development Goals for Afghanistan.

Glyn Strong, UK Progressive, July 8, 2010

Malalai Joya with Saima, the bride (Photo by David Gill)

The ‘most famous woman in Afghanistan’, Malalai Joya, has decided not to stand for re-election to Parliament because it is too corrupt, the commander of multinational forces, General Stanley McChrystal, has been dismissed and American politicians have temporarily cut off aid to the Afghan government after it emerged that billions were being ‘redirected’. Coalition deaths are above 1,800, Afghan civilian deaths are unknown – and there are fears that Afghan women may be airbrushed out of yet another key International Conference in Kabul on 20 July. Against this depressing background a wedding took place that gave some small cause for hope.

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Fearless campaigner

Defying threats to her life, Malalai Joya singlehandedly fights for Afghanistan

Syed Hamad Ali, GulfNews Weekend Review, July 2, 2010

Malalai Joya: llustration by Ramachandra Babu ©Gulf News

Malalai Joya is an Afghan politician who has publicly railed against the presence of warlords in the country's parliament and is a vociferous critic of the Taliban and the government of President Hamid Karzai. "The warlords and the Taliban — they are cancer for my country," she says.

Her outspoken nature has drawn the ire of her detractors, resulting in threats to her life. "My life in Afghanistan is not quite normal and I keep changing houses," she says.

Joya believes the United States is occupying her country and committing war crimes. "Democracy never comes with occupation," she says.

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زن ۳۲ ساله عضو مجلس افغانستان که از ۵ طرح ترور جان به در برده است

رپرتاژ تلویزیون کانال ۳ فرانسه در مورد «ملالی جویا»

همبستگی ملی، پنج‌شنبه، ۱۳ خرداد ۱۳۸۹ / ۰۳ ژوئن ۲۰۱۰

ملالی جویا در برنامه تلویزیون فرانسه

تلویزیون کانال ۳ فرانسه یک رپرتاژ در مورد «ملالی جویا» پخش کرد. این زن افغان که متولد سال ۱۹۷۸ است و هم اکنون ۳۲ سال دارد، در سال ۲۰۰۳ در سن ۲۵ سالگی از ولایت «فراه» به عضویت در مجلس موسسان افغانستان (لویه جرگه قانون اساسی) انتخاب شده بود و از سال ۲۰۰۵ تاکنون همچنان عضو پارلمان افغانستان (ولسی جرگه) است.

او در پارلمان بارها فساد کشوری و افراطگرایی اسلامگرایان قشری را مورد انتقاد قرار داده است. ملالی از حقوق زنان دفاع می کند و معتقد است که نباید به هیچ وجه در برابر افراطگرایان کوتاه آمد.

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کنفرانس مطبوعاتی ملالی جویا در کابل درباره "جرگه صلح"

جرگه مشورتی صلح یک نمایش مسخره و توهین به قربانیان جنایات است

کمیته دفاع از ملالی جویا، ۲ جون ۲۰۱۰

Press Conference of Malalai Joya in Kabul

به تاریخ اول جون ۲۰۱۰ طی کنفرانس مطبوعاتی در کابل ملالی جویا "جرگه مشورتی صلح" را محکوم کرده آنرا نمایش مسخره و توهینی به صلح و قربانیان جنایتکارانی نامید که درین جرگه روی صلح با آنان و دادن امکانات به آنان صحبت میشود. وی این جرگه را تلاشی جهت آشتی جنایتکاران بین هم نامید و گفت که ثمره ای برای مردم ما جز جنگ و خونریزی بیشتر نخواهد داشت. وی گفت صلح و آشتی بین دشمنان مردم ما وضعیت را برای مردم عام ما خونین تر خواهد ساخت چون آنان میخواهند متحدانه به باداران امریکایی و ایرانی و پاکستانی شان خدمت کنند و مردم را متحدانه سرکوب کنند.

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ملالی جویا: جرگه به اشتراک قاتلان مردم ما توهین به صلح است

گزارش تلویزیون آشنا (بخش دری و پشتو) از کنفرانس مطبوعاتی ملالی جویا در کابل

تلویزیون آشنا، اول می ۲۰۱۰

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Dartay hain bandooqon walay ek nehatti larki say

Joya hardly grabs headlines in pro-Taliban mainstream Pakistani media despite being household name in Afghanistan

Farooq Sulehria, Viewpoint, 28/05/2010

Malalai Joya

It is hard to say if she is Karzai’s nemesis or Mullah Omar’s since Malalai Joya is as vocal a critic of U.S. occupation (‘sustained through Karzai and blood-thirsty war lords’) as Taliban (‘their violence is no resistance’). Recently she was named one of ‘100 most influential people in the world’ by Time magazine.

But Time allowed author Ayaan Hirsi Ali to make the announcement and distort Joya's message. Hirsi Ali, who wrote the announcement, said "hope in time she comes to see the U.S. and NATO forces in her country as her allies. She must use her notoriety, her demonstrated wit and her resilience to get the troops on her side instead of out of her country."

A furious Joya strongly reacted: "TIME has painted a false picture of me and does not mention anything at all about my struggle against the occupation of Afghanistan by the US and NATO, which is disgusting. In fact every one knows that I stand side-by-side with the glorious anti war movements around the world and have proved time and again that I will never compromise with the US And NATO who have occupied my country, empowered the most bloody enemies of my people and are killing my innocent compatriots in Afghanistan."

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‘I spoke the truth and the truth has a powerful voice’

Joya: “I will be alive or not. But I hope. I wish to be alive next to my people, to enjoy freedom and democracy in our country. One day we will have it. Yes, I am sure.”

Roger Arnold, The National Newspaper, May 26, 2010

Malalai Joya in Burqa

Seven years ago, Malalai Joya stood up and challenged the warlords of Afghanistan. Since then she has lived in the shadows, under constant threat of death. Yet still her campaign for justice goes on, and her name is spreading around the world. Roger Arnold meets her.

On December 17, 2003, a young woman stood up from the back rows of Afghanistan’s constitutional Loya Jirga, or grand assembly, and demanded to speak. “My name is Malalai Joya from Farah Province. With the permission of all those present, by the name of God and in respect of the martyrs of the path to freedom, I would like to speak. My criticism of all my compatriots is why are they allowing the legitimacy and legality of this loya jirga to come under question with the presence of those criminal warlords who brought our country to this state… They are anti-women and have ruined our country… They should be prosecuted in national and international courts … If they are forgiven by our people, the barefooted Afghan people, our history will never forgive them.”

This moment changed her life for ever. Joya, 25, had directly challenged warlords, including Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, reported to be on the CIA payroll following the American invasion and an alleged mentor to Osama bin Laden.

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Book Review: Raising My Voice: The Extraordinary Story of the Afghan Woman Who Dares to Speak Out by Malalai Joya

If I could prescribe one book for David Cameron, Barack Obama and every other western leader to read over the summer, this would be it.

Natalie Bennett, BlogCritics.org, May 23, 2010

Raising my Voice by Malalai Joya

When I was running for the Green Party in the recent British general election, there was one issue on which I had no doubt how audiences at hustings and meetings would react positively – our call to withdraw British (and NATO) troops from Afghanistan. Surveys show around 70% of the public back that stance, and it was close to 100% of the audiences at hustings.

As I told them, I’d had in the past some doubts about our party’s policy of immediate withdrawal, having been worried about the human rights situation that we’d leave behind, particularly for women. But it was a Human Rights Watch report last year, which found 60-80% of the marriages of Afghan women and girls are forced, and learning that the brave women of RAWA are calling for withdrawal that led me to change my mind.

Having just read the autobiography of Malalai Joya, an outstanding Afghan woman MP, I’m now even more strongly of that view. (It was published in the US as A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise her Voice.)

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Malalai Joya Named Time Magazine’s top 100 Most Influential People of 2010

Interview with Malalai Joya, dissident former Parliamentarian in Afghanistan, author with Derrick O’Keefe of A Woman Among Warlords.

By Sonali Kolhatkar, Uprising Radio, May 3, 2010

Malalai Joya with her guards

U.S., NATO, and Afghan forces are gathering on the outskirts of Kandahar in Southern Afghanistan to prepare for the latest offensive in President Obama’s “surge” strategy. The troops plan to secure areas around Kandahar, which has recently witnessed a sudden increase in insurgent attacks. General David Petraeus has argued that if NATO’s counterinsurgency strikes work, they will result in improved security, giving the Afghan government a chance to find stability as the international community distributes aid to improve the quality of life for residents. But for an already-unstable government in a country crumbling beneath the pressure of bombardment from within and without, the surge could mean disaster. By August, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will reach 100,000—78,000 more soldiers than were deployed when Obama took office. Opponents of the Afghan war point to the killing by American troops of an Afghan parliamentarian’s relative on Friday, and the illegal, botched night raid that killed two pregnant women, a teenage girl, and two Afghan officials in February. Outspoken Afghan activist and former member of the Parliament, Malalai Joya has called for an end to the occupation of Afghanistan, pointing out that Americans “have not been told the truth…[The U.S. has] replaced the fundamentalist rule of Taliban with another fundamentalist regime of warlords. [That is] what your soldiers are dying for.” Joya was suspended from Parliament nearly 3 years ago. Her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords with Derrick O’Keefe was published late last year. Last week she was named one of Time Magazine’s “’100 Most Influential People” of 2010. I reached her via satellite phone in Afghanistan earlier this morning.

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TIME names Malalai Joya one of ‘100 most influential people in the world’

The implicit admission is that NATO troops are not in Afghanistan to help progressive leaders and women like Joya.

Derrick O'Keefe, Rabble.ca, April 30, 2010

TIME 100

TIME has named Malalai Joya to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Joya has become renown around the world as a courageous advocate of women’s rights and a fierce critic of the NATO war in Afghanistan. The full list and related tributes appear in the May 10 issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, April 30, and now at time.com/tk.

When I first heard this news, I thought it might be an indication that the editors of TIME were open to spreading a dissident's message about the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan. Alas, the write-up by Ayaan Hirshi Ali about Joya disabused me of this optimistic notion. Instead of describing Joya's reasons for opposing the NATO occupation of Afghanistan, Hirshi Ali, the author of Infidel who now works for the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, admonishes Joya:

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ملالی جویا در لیست پرنفوذ ترین شخصیت های سال مجله "تایم" قرار گرفت

ملالی جویا به مثابه مدافع شجاع حقوق زن و منتقد شدید جنگ امریکا و ناتو در افغانستان به شهرت جهانی دست یافته است.

مجله تایم، ۲۹ اپریل ۲۰۱۰

ملالی جویا

مجله "تایم" امروز نام ملالی جویا را در لیست ۱۰۰ شخصیت پرنفوذ سال ۲۰۱۰ اعلام نمود. طی این لیست مجله تایم ۱۰۰ تن از برترین شخصیت های جهانی را همه ساله معرفی میکند. لیست کامل آن در شماره ۱۵ می این مجله انتشار خواهد یافت. این لیست شامل شخصیت هایی در چهار دسته اندیشمندان، هنرمندان، رهبران و قهرمانان میشود که ملالی در رده قهرمانان قرار گرفته است و یگانه شخصیت از افغانستان در لیست امسال بشمار میرود.

ملالی جویا ۳۲ ساله جوانترین زنی بود که در سال ۲۰۰۵ به پارلمان افغانستان راه یافت اما به علت ایستادگی اش در برابر جنگسالاران و دولت پوشالی حامد کرزی از آنجا اخراج گردید. وی که معمولا به حیث "شجاع ترین زن افغانستان" نام برده میشود، تا حال از چندین سوقصد دشمنانش جان به سلامت برده است و مجبور است که در افغانستان مخفیانه زندگی و فعالیت داشته باشد و در پناه برقع و محافظان مسلح متشکل از هواداران و بستگانش گشت و گذار نماید. اما با تمام این تهدید ها و حملات، وی صحنه را رها نکرده و هنوز هم در کنار مردمش در افغانستان بسر میبرد و صدایش را با استفاده از هر تربیونی بلند میکند.

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Malalai Joya named to prestigious TIME 100 list of world’s most influential people

Joya has become renown around the world as a courageous advocate of women’s rights and a fierce critic of the NATO war in Afghanistan.

Time Magazine, April 29, 2010


TIME magazine today named Malalai Joya to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Joya has become renown around the world as a courageous advocate of women’s rights and a fierce critic of the NATO war in Afghanistan. The full list and related tributes appear in the May 10 issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, April 30, and now at time.com.

Joya, now 32, was the youngest woman elected to the Afghan Parliament in 2005 but was later banished from her post because of her criticism of the warlords in Hamid Karzai’s government. Often referred to as “the bravest woman in Afghanistan”, she has survived five assassination attempts and lives an underground life today in Afghanistan, with relatives and supporters providing armed security at all times. Joya has traveled globally to speak out against the NATO occupation and the warlords, druglords and Taliban in her country, advocating instead for genuine democracy and independence for Afghanistan.

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Memo to America: Stop Murdering My People

Amid increasing civilian deaths and resurgent warlordism, Afghan women's leader Malalai Joya writes that Hamid Karzai and the U.S. are losing credibility in Afghanistan day by day.

By Malalai Joya, The Daily Beast, April 19, 2010

Malalai Joya

Almost every day, the NATO occupation of our country continues to kill innocent people. Each time, it seems, military officials try to claim that only insurgents are killed, or they completely deny and cover up their crimes. The work of a few courageous journalists is the only thing that brings some of these atrocities to light.

For instance, it was only after the reporting of Jerome Starkey of the Times of London that officials admitted to the brutal Feb. 12 murder of two pregnant women, a teenage girl, and several young men in a night raid at a home where a family was celebrating the birth of a child.

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یادداشتی به امریکا: کشتن هموطنان مرا متوقف کنید

افغان های ترقی خواه در پی آنند که این دایره جنگسالاری را برای همیشه از میان بردارند.

نویسنده: ملالی جویا، روزنامه بیست، ۱۹ اپریل ۲۰۱۰
ترجمه: فریدون رسولی

ملالی جویا

رهبر افغان ملالی جویا می گوید که کرزی و امریکا روز بروز اعتبار خود را در افغانستان از دست میدهند.

تقریبا هر روز اشغال ناتو در افغانستان جان تعداد زیادی از مردم بی گناه ما را می گیرد. در هر زمان مقامات امنیتی ادعا می کنند که درین حملات شورشیان کشته شده اند و کاملا این را رد کرده و بالای جنایات خود سرپوش می گذارند. تنها کار یک تعداد از ژورنالیست های دلیر است که گوشه ای از بیرحمی های آنان را بازگو می کنند.

بطور نمونه، بعد از گزارش جیورمی ستارکی خبرنگار تایمز لندن بود که مقامات کشتار وحشیانه ۱۲ فبروری را پذیرفتند که در نتیجه دو زن حامله، یک دختر نوجوان و تعدادی از مردان جوان در یک حمله شبانه در خانه ی شان، جایی که آنان مصروف جشن تولد یک طفل شان بودند به قتل رسیدند.

یورش های شبانه، حملات "اشتباهی" هوایی، آتش گشودن بالای موتر های غیر نظامی در محلات بازرسی- اشغالگران راه های زیادی را برای کشتار مردم افغانستان جستجو می کند. بهانه ها و دروغ ها در مورد این کشتار مانند نمک پاشیدن بالای زخم های مردم ماست. و جای تعجب نیست که اعتراضات در برابر نیروی های نظامی امریکا اوج می گیرد، مردم افغانستان به اندازه کافی رنج دیده اند.

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