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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 (7 customer reviews)
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Product Description

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

Book Description

Now available in paperback, Raising My Voice does for Afghanistan what Iran Awakening did for Iran --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Malalai Joya was 4 days old when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Following a childhood spent in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan she returned to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in the late 90s and worked for underground organisations promoting the cause of women. In 2005 she was elected to the new parliament, making international headlines when she delivered her historic speech (see above). Since then, she has survived 4 assassination attempts and continued to press the cause of those who elected her. She received the International Human Rights in Film Award at Berlin in 2007, and was awarded the Anna Politkovskaya Award in 2008. Visit her website: malalaijoya.com

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

I was driving through Kabul not long ago when a friend and I decided to stop for some ice cream. It has always been my favourite, ever since we lived as refugees in Iran and my father used to slip me a little money to get myself a treat.

I was travelling without my bodyguards and, as usual, I was wearing the burqa so that I would not be recognised while I was out and about. Once we had ordered and sat down, I thought it would be safe for me to uncover myself for a few minutes while I enjoyed my ice cream. I was recognised almost right away.

`You are Malalai Joya Jan, right?' said one of the other customers.

Normally I am encouraged when people greet me and express their support and sympathies. But it can be very dangerous. You never know who will make a phone call. So my friend and I had to eat up our ice cream very quickly and leave. It's the reality of my life that I can no longer go out in public just to enjoy a moment with a friend.

There are other painful realities to deal with, including long periods of time when I am unable to see my husband and my family. Regrettably, in recent years, it has been very difficult for me even to travel to my home province of Farah. So I have rarely been able to visit the people who elected me and who shared my hopes for our suffering country and who placed their trust in me. I continue to fight to return to Parliament to denounce the tyrants on their behalf. I still receive death threats and my supporters have uncovered and thwarted even more assassination plots.

But I would never want to take back any of the speeches I have made, nor any of the statements I have issued denouncing the corrupt and violent men and women who use and abuse their power to keep Afghanistan in their grip. I am truly honoured to have been vilified and threatened by the savage men who have condemned our country to such misery. I feel proud that even though I have no private army, no money and no world powers behind me, these brutal despots are afraid of me and scheme to eliminate me. But it is not really me these men fear - they fear the wrath of our people who know the crimes they have committed. They know they cannot evade justice indefinitely, and the Afghan people have already decided the verdict.

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