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A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice [Paperback]

Malalai Joya
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 25 2011
Malalai Joya was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010. An extraordinary young woman raised in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan, Joya became a teacher in secret girls’ schools, hiding her books under her burqa so the Taliban couldn’t find them; she helped establish a free medical clinic and orphanage in her impoverished home province of Farah; and at a constitutional assembly in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2003, she stood up and denounced her country’s powerful NATO-backed warlords. She was twenty-five years old. Two years later, she became the youngest person elected to Afghanistan’s new Parliament. In 2007, she was suspended from Parliament for her persistent criticism of the warlords and drug barons and their cronies. She has survived four assassination attempts to date, is accompanied at all times by armed guards, and sleeps only in safe houses.

Joya takes us inside this massively important and insufficiently understood country, shows us the desperate day-to-day situations its remarkable people face at every turn, and recounts some of the many acts of rebellion that are helping to change it. A controversial political figure in one of the most dangerous places on earth, Malalai Joya is a hero for our times.

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"The bravest woman in Afghanistan." -- BBC News

About the Author

Malalai Joya, at only 30 years of age, has been called “the most famous woman in Afghanistan” and compared to democratic leaders such as Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi. Born in Afghanistan’s remote Farah Province, she grew up in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan before returning to Afghanistan as a social activist and a teacher at underground girls’ schools during the Taliban’s reign. In 2003 she was elected to Afghanistan’s constitutional assembly and, two years later, was the youngest person elected to Afghanistan’s new Parliament, a post from which she was suspended in 2007 for her regular denunciation of the country’s warlords and their cronies in government.

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
We don't always get the truth unless we are able to visit a country or area. On a recent trip to the middle east, I found the people warm, friendly and respectful; they have their fundamentalist fanatics as do we, but they aren't a bunch of angry extremists we have come to invision from constant media bombardment.

As Afghanistan is not a recommended travel destination, Joya's book will take you there safely, but prepare to feel sorrow and horror for our fellow human beings and for the disinformation campaign about the real reasons for our armed occupation. There is no joy in wealth acquired with the lives of others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Account of a desperate situation Feb. 15 2010
By Selnuit
Malalai joya shares her hope with us. If she is still hopeful to be able to change the situation around, it is because the deep grassroot support she is getting, both inside Afghanistan and outside. However the situation within Afghanistan is indeed almost hopeless: an occupied country where the occupier is not really interested to hear what the people really want and need, and a corrupt government to the core. Past criminals, the warlords who killed, luted, and profited from the country being granted immunity, being granted full participation in the government as members of parliament. women security and women rights? Forget about them. Protection and schooling for children? Forget about that also. Even the orphanage that Malalai Joya funded and kept running for several years had to fold for lack of funds.
Malalai Joya begs us to really listen to the people, the ordinary people, the majority in Afghanistan. She tries as best as she can to give them a voice, to speak and write on their behalf.
Yes, we know very little of what is really happening in Afghanistant but Malalai Joya's account of the situation there is worth the reading. And then, we also will need to speak out...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Joya is brave and sees through it all. She ... Sept. 26 2014
By Nisha
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Joya is brave and sees through it all. She gives the reader a concise history of her country and shows clearly how it has been affected by foreign involvement and corruption. Corruption is a world wide problem, and Joya knows very well how that has affected Afghanistan. I hope the situation improves soon and I know what is dependent on it now that I have read her book. She is an inspiration to us all, and a model of advocacy and democracy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Accomplishment Dec 13 2013
By James 'error' Campbell TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Joya has summarized her life and presented it in a fashion which I found quite inspiring. This book is an explanation of courage manifest, something Joya has gained through an education and strong upbringing. I feel as if Joya is an archetype of those who have served to change the world, however limited in effect it may appear for now. I bought this book because I was reading Noam Chomsky's 'Hopes and Prospects'; in which he cites Joya a few times, and calls this book remarkable. I set out to buy 'A Woman Among Warlords', based entirely off Chomsky's glowing fondness of this woman and can now see justification for his conclusions.

So yes, this book is probably more than you'd expect at first glance. I cannot help but think that it describes a tragedy in regards to content. I stand in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. I hope above all else that they may obtain amelioration, though it is unlikely, unless we insist on justice for all and seek to end xenophobia. Aside from the factual, contextual and practical modern relevance of these pages, I must note the quality in which this book is written, indeed quite high.

If you have come this far, I would advise you to obtain a copy for a read through.
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