One Young Man’s Holiday Wish: Raise Funds for RAWA

This holiday season, a 19 year old from Arizona, named Aaron Peterson, contacted us saying he wanted to do his part to raise much needed funds for RAWA’s work. Afghan Women’s Mission is proud to feature Aaron’s Indiegogo campaign to raise $25,000 for RAWA by the end of this year.

All donations to this campaign will go directly to AWM in order to fund RAWA’s important work to empower women and girls in Afghanistan: prejects like Danish school in Farah Province.

Aaron’s message to you is: “I want you to help me change this sense of hopelessness by ensuring women in Afghanistan receive the modern healthcare, education and other resources that they require.”

Please click here to visit the online campaign Aaron Peterson has launched and please give what you can this holiday season!

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Help us Rebuild This Women’s History Month

Dear friends and supporters,

As may know, in December 2011, IHC, our former fiscal sponsor, lost more than $400,000 worth of donations ear-marked for RAWA’s amazing projects (for the full story, click here). Although we have found a new and wonderful fiscal sponsor, SEE, we are still reeling from this devastating blow. We are trying to rebuild, move forward, and continue our support for RAWA’s work.

Help us rebuild this Women’s History Month!

For every online donation of $100 made in March 2012, we will mail a copy of the remarkable book by Malalai Joya, A Woman Among Warlords, as our “thank you gift” to you.

This book, by one of Afghanistan’s most famous women, chronicles the history of Afghanistan, and its current precarious position, through the eyes of one courageous woman. Every $100 donation will be used toward RAWA’s life saving projects that benefit Afghan women.

Click here to donate.

Although RAWA sponsors many projects in diverse realms, from emergency refugee relief to healthcare, one of its most important projects is Danish School for Girls, located in Afghanistan’s Farah province. Danish school is a remarkable and safe space for young Afghan girls to learn and grow into brave, educated, and caring young women. Despite threats by the Taliban, families opt to send their daughters to Danish school and are part of Afghanistan’s best hope, made possible with the support of donors like you.

Join us this Women’s History Month and help us fund RAWA’s projects like Danish School. Everyone who makes a donation of $100 donation or more through our website, will receive a copy of Malalai Joya’s highly acclaimed book, A Woman Among Warlords.

Click here to donate.

What people are saying about A Woman Among Warlords by Malalai Joya:

“Joya’s life has been singular and heroic.” — New York Times

“[A]n explosive book that takes a scalpel to many of the illusions surrounding the US invasion of Afghanistan.” — Global Research

“Rest assured, you will be hearing more from Joya. She is a woman determined to have her voice heard at all costs – even her own death.” — Globe and Mail

“The courage of Malalai Joya serves not only as a commentary on the current Afghan situation, but is also a reminder that in an atmosphere of deceit, duplicity and relentless violence, there are still some like her who dare to speak the truth and have the courage to face dire consequences.” — The Statesman

“If you want to understand Afghanistan, what is being done there in our names, this is a highly readable, accessible way to find out. And if I could see a way forward for Afghanistan, it would have Joya in a prominent position.” — BlogCritics.org

“Anyone who wants to better understand Afghanistan and to better explain why the U.S. has no business there should read this indispensable and beautifully written book.” — ISR

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Vote for Malalai Joya – 9th Annual Human Rights Award

Vote for JoyaMalalai Joya, former Afghan MP and author of A Woman Among Warlords, has been nominated for the 9th Annual Global Exchange Human Rights Award, as part of the People’s Choice Contest.

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ACTION ALERT: March 23 is Natl’ Call-In Day to Demand Malalai Joya Visa

Nearly a week after former Afghan Parliamentarian and acclaimed human rights activist Malalai Joya was denied a U.S. visa, a national network of activists is calling on everyone across the country to demand that the State Department let Ms. Joya in.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

On Wednesday March 23, call Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department at 202-647-5291 between 9 am to 5 pm Eastern Standard Time. Press “1” and leave a comment stating that you are outraged at Malalai Joya’s exclusion from the U.S. and that you would like the State Department to immediately grant Ms. Joya an emergency appointment and visa at any U.S. Embassy she has applied.

BACKGROUND

Joya was due to enter the U.S. on March 19th for three weeks of events spanning over a dozen states to promote the paper-back edition of her book A Woman Among Warlords. She was turned down for her visa application on the basis of “living underground” and being “unemployed.” Afghan activists who criticize their government are routinely forced to live underground due to the risks to their lives, and the vast majority of Afghan women are unemployed. Ms. Joya has come to the U.S. at least 4 times before since 2006. She was listed last November by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world, and this month by the Guardian newspaper as one of the top 100 women activists and campaigners in the world. Joya faces incredible security threats – she has survived at least 4 assassination attempts leading her to live underground.

The reasons for Ms. Joya’s exclusion is most likely politically based – her outspoken opposition to the U.S.-NATO war in Afghanistan now resonates with a majority of Americans and her 2011 tour would have potentially drawn the biggest audiences yet. The ACLU has called the increased phenomenon of denying visas to international activists and intellectuals, as “ideological exclusion.” On Friday March 19, nine U.S. representatives and Senators including Jim McDermott, John Kerry, and Bernie Sanders, wrote to the U.S. Embassy urging them to reconsider their decision. To date there has been no official response that we know of.

Currently Ms. Joya is at an undisclosed location. American officials have privately responded that she ought to apply at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and that she would likely be granted a visa from there. However, Ms. Joya faces grave risks to her life in Afghanistan and is unable to move freely and openly there – a fact that U.S. authorities seem ignorant of. Additionally when she was forced out of the Afghan parliament by U.S.-backed warlords in 2007, a ban on her travel from Afghanistan was issued, which is still in effect.

The United States should grant Malalai Joya a visa immediately from any U.S. Embassy.

It is an insult to her and all Afghan women that she has been excluded from attending her speaking events in the U.S. and it is a travesty that Americans are denied the right to hear directly from her about the Afghan war.

Click here to find out what else you can do to help Malalai Joya be allowed into the U.S.

Click here for our press release about Malalai Joya’s visa denial.

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ACTION ALERT: Four Things YOU Can Do About Malalai Joya’s Visa Denial

The U.S. Embassy this week denied famed Afghan women’s rights activist Malalai Joya a visa to the United States for an extensive speaking tour that was to kick off on Saturday March 19th. Americans are being denied the right to hear from an on-the-ground activist how the war is affecting ordinary Afghans, especially women.

Read AWM’s press release about it here.

FOUR THINGS YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT:

1. Urge your elected representatives to send a letter urging the U.S. Embassy to reconsider their decision

Representatives Jim McDermott, Jay Inslee, Keith Ellison, Peter Welch, Betty McCollum, and Senators Patrick Leahy, Patty Murray, Bernard Sanders, and Bill Pascrell signed a letter on Friday March 18th, urging the US Embassy to grant Malalai Joya a visa. A copy of the letter can be found here.

Ask your Senator or Representative to draft and sign a similar letter. Email us for details if you have a representative interested in supporting Malalai Joya. The more elected representatives that send letters, the greater the chance that the U.S. Embassy will reverse their visa denial.

2. Sign an online petition demanding Malalai Joya be granted a visa to the United States

Click here to sign the petition. Then, send it to all your friends and post it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

3. Attend one of the many events organized for Malalai around the country

Whether she gets to the U.S. or not it is imperative that the events go on as scheduled. If she is unable to be physically present organizers will attempt to have her speak to the audience via live video chat. Transform the events into “free-speech” events, to affirm your right to hear from people like Malalai Joya.

Details of Malalai’s tour are here.

4. Demand media coverage of Malalai’s Visa Denial

Contact local and national media urging them to cover Malalai Joya’s visa exclusion. The denial of a visa to Afghanistan’s most intrepid and well known feminist should make headlines! Point them to our press release for details.