FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
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 touring North America between Oct. 23 and Nov. 27 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.
Malalai Joya, often compared to Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, has emerged as a symbol of Afghans” desire for freedom from corruption, warlordism and foreign occupation. Her father, who lost a leg fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, named her after a 19th century hero in the fight against the British Empire, Malalai of Maiwand.
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 will be traveling through the US for a brief book tour at the following cities: New York, Boston, Cambridge, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Irvine, Berkeley, San Jose, Seattle, and Bellingham.