Malalai Joya, author of A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice, discusses her US speaking tour that was initially denied by the State Department because she “lived underground” and was “unemployed;” the bogus reasons for war in Afghanistan, including enforcing women’s rights with a military occupation that regularly kills civilians; and why NATO needs to withdraw, stop supporting the warlords, and let the Afghan people work out their own problems.
MP3 here. (9:32)
Malalai Joya is a (suspended) Member of the Afghan Parliament. She was elected to the 249-seat National Assembly, or Wolesi Jirga in September 2005, as a representative of Farah Province. Malalai won the second highest number of votes in the province.
Malalai rose to fame in December 2003 when, as an elected delegate to the Constitutional Loya Jirga, she spoke out publicly against the domination of warlords (Watch her remarks). Since then she has survived four assassination attempts, and travels in Afghanistan under a burqa and with armed guards.
She is the daughter of a former medical student who was wounded while fighting against the Soviet Union (which invaded and occupied Afganistan from 1979 – 1989). Malalai was 4 years old when her family fled Afghanistan in 1982 to the refugee camps of Iran and then Pakistan. She finished her education in Pakistan and began teaching literacy courses to other women at age 19. After the Soviets left, Malalai Joya returned to Afghanistan in 1998 during the Taliban’s reign. During that time she established an orphanage and health clinic, and was soon a vocal opponent of the Taliban.