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Raising My Voice: The Extraordinary Story of the Afghan Woman Who Dares to Speak Out [Paperback]

Malalai Joya
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: £11.99
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Book Description

16 July 2009

Malalai Joya is the youngest and most famous female MP in Afghanistan, whose bravery and vision have won her an international following. She made world headlines with her very first speech, in which she courageously denounced the presence of warlords in the new Afghan government. She has spoken out for justice ever since, and for the rights of women in the country she loves. Raising My Voice shares her extraordinary story.

Born during the Russian invasion and spending her youth in refugee camps, Malalai Joya describes how she first became a political activist. When she returned to Afghanistan, the country was under the grip of the Taliban and she ran a secret school for girls. A popular MP with her constituents, she received global support when she was suspended from parliament in 2007 because of her forthright views.

Malalai Joya's work has brought her awards and death threats in equal measure. She lives in constant danger. In this gripping account, she reveals the truth about life in a country embroiled in war - especially for the women - and speaks candidly about the future of Afghanistan, a future that has implications for us all.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rider (16 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184604149X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846041495
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 13.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 720,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The youngest and most famous of all the women in the Afghan parliament...a powerful symbol of change" (Guardian)

"A courageous female MP" (The Times)

"[Has] spoken her mind as few Afghan women dare to do" (New York Times)

"Unwavering in her mission to bring true democracy to her country...Women have been known to walk for miles just to touch her. For them, she is their only real hope for a better future" (Telegraph)

"An important book...Joya's pain and bravery are genuine and can be felt on almost every page" (Christina Lamb, Sunday Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

‘The youngest and most famous of all the women in the Afghan parliament...a powerful symbol of change’ - Guardian

‘A courageous female MP’ - The Times

‘[Has] spoken her mind as few Afghan women dare to do’ - New York Times

‘Unwavering in her mission to bring true democracy to her country...Women have been known to walk for miles just to touch her. For them, she is their only real hope for a better future’ - Telegraph

‘An important book…Joya’s pain and bravery are genuine and can be felt on almost every page’ - Christina Lamb, Sunday Times

‘A fascinating account of Afghanistan’s political reality…Malalai Joya has been compared to Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi’ - Irish Times

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative book. 29 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
This book offer a great insight into the life and mind of Malalai. However being an Afghan myself I would stress upon the point that some of Malalai's policies towards religion are not quite popular amongst ordinary Afghan women. However this shows that due to her young age and her lack of exposure to information due to her presence in Afghanistan can be a major factor behind this. In general it provides a true picture of young Afghans going through the occupation, the troubles of refugee camps and the feelings of these people towards those warlords who are once again ruling and not giving chance to the new generation to come forward and control their destiny.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most inspiring books I have ever read 14 July 2010
Format:Paperback
In a world of sheep and robots where most people would never have the courage to speak out about anything - whether at work, in a relationship, or even to query an error in a receipt at the supermarket checkout - Malalai Joya gets it all into perspective by putting her life on the line and raising her voice every single day for the truth.

Her example - her strength, her courage and her commitment to her people and democracy is one of the most inspiring examples of human endeavour I have ever had the good fortune to encounter.

This book made me cry a lot - but it also gave me hope. Whenever she socked it to the warlords or the corrupt MP's in the Afghan parliament I just thought 'Right on!' and was exhilarated. Then every time I put the book down I had to take a deep breath, stunned at what I had read and just say 'I could never do that.'

It has made me reflect a lot on my own life - where do I lie? Where do I prefer to just go along with the easy, quiet, seen and not heard way - how could I embody some of the principles this woman stands for in my own everyday life?

I have written a lot of reviews on Amazon but this is by far one of the best books I have ever read. I am buying it for all my friends for Christmas - I highly recommend you buy it too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening 10 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anyone who wants to understand the background to much of what happens in Afghanistan today should read Malalai Joya's gripping story. Well known for speaking out against the warlords in the new Afghan government, Joya became the youngest person to be elected to the Afghan Parliament where she continued to speak out against the warlords and corruption. She has survived several assassination attemps and lives with the constant risk of being killed.
She has written about her personal life before she became a politician - her childhood, family, her work running an underground school for girls during the Taliban regime and her life as a refugee - as well as writing about the political history of Afghanistan. It is an uncompromising account and she spares neither the warlords nor the American governments.
Earnings from her book go to fund humanitarian projects in Afghanistan. She wants her book to correct the misinformation spread about Afghanistan and the Afghan people. "The truth", she says, "is that Afghans are brave and freedom-loving people with a rich culture and a proud history. We are capable of defending our independence, governing ourselves and determining our own future." As someone who worked in Afghansitan for several years I can totally concur with her sentiments and salute a woman who has more courage in her little finger than any warlord. Reviewed by Mary Smith author of No More Mulberriesa novel set in Afghanistan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Jass
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite the fact that I have studied Afghanistan at school and at times at work I never really understood much about this complex country until now. This book tells the story of a country as brilliantly as it tells a story of this young woman. The book is eye opening and offers hardcore facts about the US led occupation and the corrupt violent government that has been put into place in Afghanistan. If you simply are interested in a good story and don't care about politics this book is still for you as the story of this woman in itself is very fascinating if you also are interested in Afghan and international affairs well then you are in for a treat. But in all seriousness Malalai Joya's voice is a voice that needs to be heard and so are the stories she shares of her fellow Afghans. There is a lot the world has to learn from her and we ought to be listening very carefully.
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