Raising My Voice: The Extraordinary Story of the Afghan Woman who Dares to Speak Out

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Pan Macmillan, 2009 - Afghanistan - 278 pages
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Malalai Joya has been described as the bravest woman in the world. As a teenager she worked as a woman's rights activist under the Taliban, running underground classes and clinics in her native Afghanistan that would have resulted in her torture and execution if she'd been caught. After the fall of the Taliban, Malalai was elected as one of the few women to represent her province at the first assembly to frame a new Afghan constitution. Here she dared to speak out against the crimes of the war lords, who - backed by the Americans - now ruled the country. To her their crimes were almost as bad as those of the hated Taliban, yet the West seemed content to support them as part of their Realpolitik approach to Afghanistan - my enemy's enemy is my friend. Her public denunciation resulted in several attempts to assassinate her, and for the last five years she's lived under constant threat, moving from safe house to safe house. It hasn't stopped her speaking out though, and on the back of her courage she was elected to Afghan's first parliament. She represents the voiceless, the oppressed, the victims and the innocents of Afghanistan's endless cycle of violence. She's outspoken, passionate and fearless - an extraordinary woman to emerge from decades of brutal and misogynistic repression. Her book and her voice are set to resonate around the world.

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About the author (2009)

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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