Uprising Radio, November 5, 2009

Born just three days before the Soviet invasion and occupation of her country, Malalai Joya is in many ways typical of Afghans aged 30 years or younger. They are a generation that has known only war. But in many ways Malalai Joya is an extraordinary person, as her political memoir reveals, risking her life in ways that few would, to break the silence on warlordism, violence, corruption, and occupation. Elected to the Afghan parliament in 2005 Malalai Joya became the youngest member of the body. She was chosen by her people because only months earlier she had publicly condemned the fundamentalist war criminals who were dominating Afghanistan’s new government, with the blessing of the Bush administration.

Her outburst had generated international headlines and made her simultaneously beloved by her people and hated by the warlords. Her two years in office were marked by her continued courage in raising her voice whenever she could about the injustice she saw around her. In 2007 Malalai Joya was eventually suspended from the Afghan parliament by the men she exposed. Protests broke out across Afghanistan, in a nation where public demonstrations are extremely risky. Ordinary and poor people had lost their only voice in the government. Today Malalai Joya continues to speak out to whoever will listen: about the struggles of her people, the scourge of fundamentalist violence, and the devastating US/NATO occupation. Returning from several days of meeting with members of the US Congress in Washington DC to immediately end the occupation of the country, Malalai Joya is now in Southern California for a number of public events.

GUEST: Malalai Joya, Author of A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice, co-authored with Derrick O’Keefe.

Visit Malalai Joya’s website at www.malalaijoya.com.

Malalai Joya will be speaking at two events this week in Southern California:

Thursday November 5, 7-8 pm
Crystal Cove Auditorium, Cross cultural Center, Univ of California, Irvine CA

Friday November 6, 7-9 pm
All Saints Church, 132 N Euclid Avenue, Pasadena CA

Copies of her books will be available at both events. They are free and open to the public.