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AFGHANISTAN: An Afghan lawmaker's troubles

Did Malalai Joya get kicked out of parliament for demanding progress, or standing in the way?

LINDSAY HOLMWOOD, The Associated Press, Oct.11, 2007 Audio File (MP3)

Malalai Joya in Press Conference in Kabul on May 21 Malalai Joya

Malalai Joya was kicked out of the Afghan parliament -- and got numerous death threats -- after calling the body a "stable" or "zoo" and its members "animals."

Were her criticisms of fellow lawmakers legitimate, or was she simply ignoring a reality of politics in Afghanistan -- that progress can't happen without cooperation from some shady characters?

asap talked to Joya and others about the outspoken lawmaker, who's also the subject of "Enemies of Happiness," a feature documentary distributed by the arts organization Women Make Movies that's won awards at Sundance and other film festivals.

Tags: Audio

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Afghanistan: Peace and Security Undermined: Suspension of Malalai Joya from Parliament

Please write to the officials calling for the reinstatement of Malalai Joya

Equality Now, Women's Action 21.5, October 2007
Spanish version | French version | Arabic version

Malalai Joya in Press Conference in Kabul on May 21 Malalai Joya in Press Conference in Kabul on May 21

Malalai Joya entered Afghanistan's new Parliament in September 2005 pledging to "protect the rights of the oppressed and safeguard women's rights." She won the second highest number of votes in Farah province, taking her seat in the Lower House (Wolesi Jirga). A staunch critic of the warlords and defender of women's rights, Malalai has consistently been stopped from speaking in Parliament or had speeches cut short, has survived a number of assassination attempts and is forced to sleep in different places every night in order to stay alive.

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Malalai Joya: courage under fire

Glyn Strong meets Afghanistan's most outspoken politician

By Glyn Strong, Telegraph Magazine, September 29, 2007

Death threats and assassination attempts have forced Malalai Joya underground, but she is unwavering in her mission to bring true democracy to her country. Glyn Strong meets Afghanistan's most outspoken politician. Photographs by Tom Stoddart

For about £9, a woman can disappear in Kabul. That's how much it costs to buy a burqa, and behind it she can become invisible. It is no small irony that the garment forced upon Afghanistan's women during the repressive reign of the Taliban has become the key to freedom for the controversial human rights activist Malalai Joya.

Malalai Joya with armed guards
Malalai Joya with her bodyguards at a secret address in the backstreets of Kabul

But even the burqa cannot always hide Afghanistan's most famous woman. A visit to a maternity hospital in Kabul last month provoked a security alert. Initial irritation among the pregnant women standing in the dusty heat turned to near hysteria as they realised who was behind the veil. A whisper, 'It's Joya, Joya is here,' spread like electricity through the crowd. Women have been known to walk for miles just to touch her. For them, she is their only real hope for a better future.

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«جنگ علیه تروریزم» یک مضحکه است

مصاحبه السا راسبک Elsa Rassbach با ملالی جویا جوانترینرهبر سیاسی و مدافع حقوق زن در افغانستان در مورد سفر اخیرش به آلمان از ۱۸ تا ۲۲ سپتامبر ‏۲۰۰۷‏

زی نت، ۲۵ سپتامبر ۲۰۰۷
ترجمه: حکیم نعیم

Malalai Joya
ملالی جویا در برلین

ملالی جویا که ۲۹ سال عمر دارد جوانترین فردیست که به پارلمان افغانستان انتخاب شده است. او یکی از ۶۸ زنی است که با گرفتن دومین رای بلند در بین کاندیدان از زادگاهش فراه در سال ۲۰۰۵ به ولسی جرگه راه یافت. اما زمانی که او در پارلمان بر ضد بنیادگرایان و جنگ سالاران سخن گفت، وکالتش به تاریخ ۲۱ می ۲۰۰۷ تا ختم این دوره پارلمان به حالت تعلیق درآمد، ملالی جویا بر علیه این تصمیم پارلمان به ستره محکمه افغانستان اعتراض کرده است.

ملالی جویا زمانی به شهرت رسید که در سال ۲۰۰۳ در لویه جرگه قانون اساسی علیه سلطه جنگ سالاران صدای اعتراضش را بلند کرد. پس از این حادثه، چهار بار از سوء قصد جان به سلامت برد و فعلاً هر باری که در داخل افغانستان از یک جا به جای دیگر سفر میکند، مجبور است چادری بپوشد و توسط محافظان مسلح حفاظت شود.

ادامه مطلب


Elsa Rassbach interviews Malalai Joya, Afghan political leader and women's rights advocate

By Elsa Rassbach, AfterDowningStreet.org, September 24, 2007
Znet, September 25, 2007

Malalai Joya Malalai Joya in Berlin (Foto: Marko Priske/Spot)

Malalai Joya is at age 29 the youngest person to become a member of the Afghan Parliament. She was one of 68 women elected to the 249- seat National Assembly or Wolesi Jirga in 2005. She won the second highest number of votes in Farah Province. But after she spoke out against the fundamentalists and former warlords in the parliament, she was suspended from the parliament on May 21, 2007, until the end of the current term, which ends in 2009. She has appealed to the Supreme Court in Afghanistan.

Malalai Joya rose to fame and gained international attention in December 2003 when, as an elected delegate to the Constituional Loya Jirga, she spoke out publicly against the domination of warlords. Since then she has survived four assassination attempts, and travels in Afghanistan under a burqa and with armed guards.

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سلامم برتو ای جویا

اهداء به خواهر باشهامت میهن خانم ملالی جویا

شاعر: دوکتور محمد رضاء بهمنش
Joya سلامم برتو باد، ای خواهر میهن،
بتو ای ازخراسان ، قهرمان برخاسته، ای دختر روءیا!
فدای عشق و ایمانت شوم،
ملالی، ای زن دانای بیهمتا!
ملالی، ای رادزن، ای دخترمیهن!
ملالی ای زن بینا، زن پرجرئت و دانا، زن جویا!

بنازم برتو ای خواهر،
بتو ای تارک منراوصدها همچومنرا شاهوار افسر.
توئی انگشتر ناموس ما را، ای زن والاگهر، والاترین گوهر.

ادامه مطلب


ملالی جویا نماینده پارلمان افغانستان در گردهمایی نمایندگان حزب نیودموكراتیك كانادا

"نیروی‌های نظامی كانادایى تا وقتیكه به همكارى با ایالات متحده ادامه بدهد، پشتیبانى مردم افغانستان را بدست نخواهد آورد"

هفته نامه شهرگان، ۲۲ سپتامبر ۲۰۰۶

Joya in NDP Convention
جويا در کنفرانس حزب دموکراتيک نوين کانادا

محترمه ملالى جویا نماینده مردم فراه در پارلمان افغانستان در گردهمایى وكلاى حزب نیو دموكراتیك كانادا گفت: نیروی‌های نظامی كانادایى تا وقتیكه به همكارى با ایالات متحده ادامه بدهد، پشتیبانى مردم افغانستان را بدست نخواهد آورد.

خانم جویا كه یكى از سخنرانان اصلی دركنفرانس سراسرى حزب نیو دموكراتیك كانادا بود در سخنانش گفت: افغانها جایگزین کردن طالبان توسط اعضاى اتحاد شمال رابه مثابه جایگزینى یك گروه جنگ سالار ضد حقوق زن با دیگرى می دانند.

ادامه مطلب


Young Afghan feminist Malalai Joya spoke in Berlin about her fight against Warlords and occupation

Courage of the Despair

By Jana Frielinghaus, Junge Welt, September 21, 2007
(translated from German into English by DCMJ)

Malalai Joya
Malalai Joya in Berlin

It is an unpleasant irony that the Burka, which counts for the west as the most obvious symbol of the women’s suppression in Afghanistan, has got a life-preserving function for Malalai Joya. There is no better hiding place for the just 29-year-old women when she travels in her country, Afghanistan. In spite of many assassination attempts against her, she is so brave to speak about her country all around the world traveling to USA, Australia and Europe. She ahs also founded a health clinic for women and children in her hometown Farah province.

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ملالی جویا کاندید جایزه حقوق بشر پارلمان اروپا

جویا قبلا در بین هزار زن کاندید جایزه صلح نوبل نیز شده بود

کمیته دفاع از ملالی جویا، ۱۲ سپتامبر ۲۰۰۷

پارلمان اروپا: «ملالی جویا، عضو پارلمان و مدافع حقوق زنان در افغانستان است. جویا در می ۲۰۰۷ به خاطر افشای جنگسالاران حاضر در پارلمان، به حالت تعلیق درآورده شد.»

به تاریخ ۱۱ سپتامبر پارلمان اروپا کاندید های جایزه معتبر سالانه حقوق بشر ۲۰۰۷ را اعلان نمود که ملالی جویا نیز در بین پنج کاندید این جایزه قرار گرفته است.

ادامه مطلب


Malalai Joya was nominated for Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by European Parliament

Sakharov Prize 2007: five nominees announced

European Parliament, Sep.11, 2007

Malalai Joya in Press Conference in Kabul on May 21

The names of five nominees for this year's European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought were unveiled on Tuesday at a joint meeting of the EP's Foreign Affairs Committee, Development Committee and Human Rights Subcommittee. These five names will be narrowed down to a shortlist of three by the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Development Committee at a vote on 24 September. The Conference of Presidents (Parliament's political group leaders) will then pick the winner on 25 October.

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TV Review: 'A Woman Among Warlords'

A Woman Finds Her Place in the Afghan Power Struggle

By MIKE HALE, The New York Times, September 11, 2007

Documentry film on Malalai Joya
"A revelatory portrait of this extraordinary freedom fighter and the way she won the hearts of voters... " Caroline Libresco Sundance Film Festival

"A Woman Among Warlords," which follows the Afghan politician Malalai Joya through the final months of campaigning for her country’s National Assembly in 2005, can’t help but be enthralling: at a time when television seems happy to fill its schedules profiling fishermen and unemployed actors, Ms. Joya is a truly remarkable subject.

If there’s a problem with the documentary, which is being shown tonight as the season finale of "Wide Angle" on PBS, it’s the rare one of too much showing and not enough telling.

The almost entirely observational approach of the filmmakers Eva Mulvad and Anja Al-Erhayem produces amazing scenes: an impossibly old woman who has walked for hours to meet Ms. Joya suddenly drops to the floor and pulls herself across it with her forearms, demonstrating how she planted mines under Russian tanks. On election night Ms. Joya’s ever-present armed guards listen to the results, and the flickers of hope and pride on their usually blank faces are a revelation.

In one of the film’s most gripping passages a 13-year-old girl begs Ms. Joya to help her avoid a forced marriage to an older man, who feels he’s entitled to her because he had already given her family a dowry when his daughter married one of the girl’s brothers. The girl delivers an impassioned monologue that ends: "I’m in the fifth grade. He wants me to keep the accounts for his opium money. He has weapons and walks with a limp. He’s crippled in one hand and one leg. I can’t find happiness with him."

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The woman vs. the warlords: a post-9/11 story

Alex Strachan, The Ottawa Citizen , September 11, 2007

Documentry film on Malalai Joya
"A revelatory portrait of this extraordinary freedom fighter and the way she won the hearts of voters... " Caroline Libresco Sundance Film Festival

It's a growing debate: Six years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, as 9/11's anniversary falls for the first time on a Tuesday -- the day of the week it happened -- how much tribute is too much? How much is enough, and how much is not enough? In an indirect and yet profound way, tonight's season finale of PBS's Wide Angle provides the perfect answer.

The real post-9/11 conflict -- as many Canadians know all too well -- is in Afghanistan, and as tonight's quiet, remarkable film A Woman Among Warlords shows, a kind of uneasy democracy is taking hold in a place where women's rights were until recently unheard of. A Woman Among Warlords is not about war -- the war goes completely unmentioned -- but the subtext is plainly obvious: The old guard is still there, waiting, hoping to turn back the clock.

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Women Make Movies , Sep.7, 2007

Documentry film on Malalai Joya
"A revelatory portrait of this extraordinary freedom fighter and the way she won the hearts of voters... "
Caroline Libresco
Sundance Film Festival

Women Make Movies is proud to announce the highly anticipated national broadcast premiere of A WOMAN AMONG WARLORDS, based on the film, ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS, on the PBS series, WIDE ANGLE, Sept 11 at 9 PM on most PBS stations (check local listings).


ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS is an award winning documentary by Eva Mulvad, this inspiring film follows Malalai Joya - an extraordinary, outspoken young woman, a folk hero and a women's rights activist - during the final weeks of her riveting campaign for a seat in the newly formed democratic parliament in Afghanistan. Recently suspended from her seat for harshly criticizing the parliament, Joya continues to struggle for the rights of the people of Afghanistan.

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مرد میدان

شاعر: ماریه
Joya تو ای دخت جوان در راه انسان
گذاشتی تو قدم از دل و جان
صدای مردم رنجدیده ات را
رساندی تو بگوش این و هم آن
نداری سازش هرگز با سیه کار
فدای تو شوم جویای دوران
وجودت مایه فخر و مباهات
به هر مرد و زن و هم نسل افغان
شهامت در وجودت تا ابد باد
ملالی نام تو چون مرد میدان
۲۲اگست ٢٠٠٧

مپندار اینکه تنهایی

شاعر: هنگامه
Joya ملالی تو افتخار جمله باشی
به قلب مردمت تابنده باشی
ببالیم ما بتو و پشت کارت
نماییم آفرین ها ما نثارت
صدای دلکشت غوغا برانگیز
به ضد دشمن سفاک و خون ریز

ادامه مطلب

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