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A Woman Among Warlords: Malalai Joya Exposes U.S. War in Afghanistan

Malalai Joya, the young woman who the BBC has hailed as the "bravest in Afghanistan", has published her memoirs, A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Woman Who Dared to Speak Out.    (Details of her book tour appearances below.)

Joya, now 31, was the youngest ever woman elected to the Afghan Parliament in 2005 and is an outspoken critic of the Karzai government and NATO occupation. She will be speaking in the Boston area between October 29-31 as part of a North American tour to speak about her new memoir, co-written with Canadian activist and writer Derrick O’Keefe.

With U.S. President Obama considering escalating the war in Afghanistan with over 40,000 more troops, Joya’s speaking tour and book release is timely. “Afghan women like me, voting and running for office, have been held up as proof that the United States has brought democracy and women’s rights to Afghanistan,” Joya writes. “But it is all a lie.”

Her book tells the story of her life in the context of three decades of war. Joya details her reasons for opposing NATO's war and suggests concrete steps for building an independent and genuinely democratic Afghanistan.

Often compared to democratic leaders such as Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi, this extraordinary young woman was raised in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan. Inspired in part by her father's activism, Malalai became a teacher in secret girls' schools, holding classes in a series of basements. She hid her books under her burqa so the Taliban couldn't find them. She also helped establish a free medical clinic and orphanage in her impoverished home province of Farah. The endless wars of Afghanistan have created a generation of children without parents. Like so many others who have lost people they care about, Malalai lost one of her orphans when the girl's family members sold her into marriage.

Today, Joya brings to a North American audience the lessons of Afghanistan’s long history of occupation and resistance. And she hopes her book will “correct the tremendous amount of misinformation being spread about Afghanistan.”

“Afghans are sometimes represented in the media as a backward people, nothing more than terrorists, criminals and henchmen. This false image is extremely dangerous for the future of both my country and the West. The truth 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.”

Malalai Joya's new book, A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice, was published by Simon & Schuster on October 20, 2009.    Malalai Joya will speak at the following New England locations:

Sunday, October 25 4 pm Brown University, Providence, RI, Salomon Hall 101, Main Green.  Info: 401-419-6199
Thursday, October 29 7 pm MIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Room 10-250
Friday, October 30 2:30 pm Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK St, Cambridge.  Carr Center for Human Rights Conference Room, Rubenstein 219
7 pm Emerson College, Bordy Auditorium, 216 Tremont St, 1st Floor, Boston.   (Boylston T stop)
Saturday, October 31 2 pm 91 Lyndhurst St., Dorchester (Lyndhurst is off Allston St., which is off Melville Ave.; Shawmut T stop), Sponsored by Dorchester People for Peace.  Info: 617-822-9474 or 617-721-9606

Co-sponsored by the Afghan Women's Mission and United for Justice with Peace.   

Call 617-491-4UJP or write for information on Boston area events.    See the national events schedule and Joya's Defense Committee website

Attached below are flyers to print and distribute in Word and PDF format.

JoyaBoston.pdf191.14 KB
JoyaBoston.doc39.5 KB
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