AWM Thanks the Lisa Akbari Foundation

On December 12, 2015, an American humanitarian aid worker named Lisa Akbari was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan outside the gym she frequented. Heartbroken by their loss, Akbari’s family in the United States set up a crowd funding initiative to raise funds in her memory. Afghan Women’s Mission is touched and honored to be the recipient of the funds raised. We thank Akbari’s family and express our deepest condolences to them. The funds will appropriately be used to further Afghan women’s rights, a cause dear to Lisa Akbari’s heart.

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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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Malalai Joya National Tour 2013

Acclaimed Afghan human rights activist and author, Malalai Joya, returns to the US this fall for a national tour coinciding with the 12th anniversary of the start of the US war in Afghanistan. Joya’s tour is sponsored by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and Afghan Women’s Mission (AWM).

During her tour Joya will address the following questions:
• Why are Afghan women more vulnerable than ever?
• What is the impact of US drones, bombs, and raids?
• What does the end of the US’s longest war mean?
• Why is violence increasing after 11 years of war?

Below is a list of cities that Malalai Joya will be speaking at during her Fall 2013 tour:

NEW YORK

Thursday, October 3, 2013, 7 pm
Skylight Room, CUNY Grad Center
365 5th Ave.
New York NY
Speaking alongside Malalai Joya will be Sharmin Hossain from the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY who helped organize protests against former general David Petraeus who is teaching at CUNY

Friday, October 4, 2013, 1 pm
Meyer Building at NYU, Room 122
New York University, NY

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 6 pm
Church Center for the United Nations
777 United Nations Plaza,
2nd Fl, East 44th St. & 1st ave.
This event is the ending of a week long program of the People’s Global Action on Migration Development & Human Rights. Visit www.pga2013.org for details

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 7 pm
Community Church of New York
40 East 35th St.
Free and open to the public.
Click here for a flyer of the event.

Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm
Deepak Homebase at ABC carpet & home
888 Broadway at e. 19th St.
This will be a conversation on justice with Eve Ensler, V-Day founder and tony-award winning playwright. Entrance: $25 to benefit Malalai Joya’s work in Afghanistan. RSVP at www.vday.org/mj

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Sunday, October 6, 2013, 7 – 9 pm
Malalai Joya and Noam Chomsky
First Parish Unitarian-Universalist Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave, Harvard Sq T
Cambridge MA
Requested Donation: $10. $5 students/low income/unemployed

Reception from 5-6:30 pm with Ms. Joya to raise money for organizations and charities benefiting Afghan women and children.
First Parish U-U Church, 3 Church St., Harvard Sq., Cambridge, MA
So. Asian traditional music and food.
Contribution requested: $20, or $10 for students/low income/unemployed.

Monday, October 7, 2013, 12 noon
Tufts University
Barnum Hall 104
163 Packard Avenue
Medford, MA 02155

Monday, October 7, 2013, 3:30 pm
University of Massachusetts at Boston
Campus Center
Ballroom C, 3rd flr
Boston, MA 02125-3393

Monday, October 7, 2013, 7 pm
Wellesley College
Tishman Commons
Lulu Wang Campus Center
21 College Rd Wellesley, MA 02481

Monday, October 8, 2013, 1 pm
Suffolk University
8 Ashburton Pl
Boston, MA 02108

AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS

Tuesday October 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm
Food for Thought Books
106 North Pleasant St.
Amherst, Massachusetts

ALBANY, NEW YORK

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 1 pm
Bush memorial Auditorium, Russell Sage
College, Congress and first St. Tory, NY

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 7 PM
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany,
405 Washington Ave., Albany

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Thursday October 10, 2013 at 12 noon
Discussion and Q&A with Malalai Joya, part of “Brown Bag” Lunch series
8th Day Center
205 W. Monroe St. Ste 500
Chicago IL 60606

Friday October 11, 2013
TBA

MADISON, WISCONSIN

Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 2pm
Gordon Dining and Event Center
University of Wisconsin, Madison

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

Tuesday October 15, 2013 at 7 pm
Foss Center, Augsburg College
625 22nd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Wednesday October 16, 2013 from 12:15 to 1:05
University of Minnesota Law School
Rm. 40 Mondale Hall
229 19th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Wednesday October 16, 2013 from 4:30-6:00
Macalester College
Room TBA
1600 Grand Ave St Paul, MN 55105

SAN FRANCISCO ,CALIFORNIA

Thursday October 17, 2013, 10 am to 2 pm
University of California at Berkeley
Wheeler Hall, Maude fife room

Thursday October 17, 2013, 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Berkeley City College – Auditorium 21
2050 Center Street between Milvia and Shattuck,
very near the downtown Berkeley BART station.

Friday, October 18, 2013 at 12 noon
Stanford University
(luncheon meeting/location TBA)

Friday, October 18, 2013 7 PM
Friends Service Committee Hall
Palo Alto CA
(Address TBA)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Saturday October 19, 1:30 pm
Harvey Mudd College
301 Platt Blvd Claremont, CA 91711
campus location TBA

Saturday October 19th 7 – 9 pm
All Saints Church, the Forum
132 N Euclid Ave Pasadena, CA 91101
Media sponsor is KPFK
Entrance is free – suggested donation of $10 will include copy of Joya’s book A Woman Among Warlords
KPFK host Sonali Kolhatkar will host the event – Book signing to follow talk
Click here for a flyer

NOTE: AWM is collecting used but functioning laptop computers for democracy activists in Afghanistan. You can donate your laptop to AWM at this event ONLY. Please bring all necessary charger cables and accessories. Tax letters will be mailed to donors.

ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

Monday October 21st, 10 am – 12 noon
Cal State Fullerton,
Langsdorf Hall (LH) Room 318, Cal State Fullerton (LH is along Nutwood Ave)
Campus Map: http://www.fullerton.edu/campusmap/
Click here for a flyer of the event.
Media sponsor is KPFK

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

Monday, Oct. 21st, 7 pm
Al Awda Center, 2720 Loker Avenue West Suite J, Carlsbad CA 92010
Co-sponsored by Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition
For more information on this event, or to join the Facebook event page, click here

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 11am
San Diego City College, V101 (16th and C Streets)
1313 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7 pm
San Diego State University
Nasatir Hall 100
Click here for map
A Feminist Reaseach Colloquium, co-sponsored by the Bread and Roses Center of the Department of Women’s Studies, and the Center for Intercultural Relations, SDSU

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2 pm
UCSD (room tbd)

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 7 pm
Church of the Brethren
3850 Westgate Pl.
San Diego 92105
For more information on this event, or to join the Facebook event page, click here

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RAWA Projects facing Serious Danger of Closure: Please Make a Donation!

Dear supporters of RAWA and Afghan Women’s Mission,

This year was our most financially challenging year since our organization began nearly 13 years ago. As you may recall, about a year ago our fiscal sponsor IHC collapsed losing all our funds, and the funds of about 200 other organizations. Click here to read about it.

While we have found a wonderful new sponsor, SEE, we have raised only a tiny fraction of the funding we normally receive from donors like you this year. Tragically, the main sponsor of RAWA’s flagship project, Danish School, has also been unable to provide the funding we need. In fact, the money we have raised this year are barely enough to fund two months of Danish School operations.

The loss of our funds, and the global economic recession have created a perfect storm that now threatens closure of all of RAWA’s life-saving work.

Click here to make a donation.

In RAWA’s own words, here is an assessment of how dire the situation is:

The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) has always relied on its supporters all over the world for financial assistance, and especially its supporters in the US, and never turned to any other source. We understand the many difficulties you face, which makes us even more proud when you work hard to help us as well. Please don’t forget RAWA, the only anti-fundamentalist and independence-seeking female organization of Afghanistan, in these hard days, and enable us to implement all our projects in the coming year so that your donation is spent in ways that truly help Afghanistan and its suffering people.

Crisis of IHC has caused a lot of problems for us, we had to limit our programs in Afghanistan due to acute shortage of fund. If we could not raise enough fund, RAWA may have to close down a school that we run inside Afghanistan for Afghan girls.

Click here to make a donation.

As you know, the situation in Afghanistan remains grim, particularly for women. This week Najia Sediqi, the head of the women’s affairs department for eastern Laghman province was shot and killed. And, a new United Nations Report released on December 11, 2012, finds that three years after a law protecting women was enacted, “Afghan women are frequent victims of abuse,” and “the overall use of the law remained low, indicating there is still a long way to go before women and girls in Afghanistan are fully protected from violence through the law.” Click here to read a news article about the UN report.

RAWA continues their hard work of creating a better Afghanistan through education, literacy projects, and more. But they cannot do it without your financial solidarity. We know that there are many worthy causes vying for your hard earned dollars this holiday season. Please consider making a donation to preserve RAWA’s projects before the end of this year. Your donation is tax-deductible in the United States to the extent of the law, and may be tax-deductible in other countries as well.

Click here to make a donation.

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7th Annual Fair Trade and Conscious Gifts holiday Bazaar

WHEN: Saturday December 1st, from 10 am to 3 pm
WHERE: Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd, LA CA 90005 (Geneva Room – wheelchair accessible)

Browse through a large selection of affordable, sweat-shop free arts and crafts made by artisans internationally and locally, including embroidered pillow-covers, wallets and purses from Afghanistan, locally made jewelry, blankets, scarves and tote-bags, candles, soaps, oils, fair trade coffee & honey, conscious books, CDs, and including the famous soup beans by the Women’s Bean Project…plus much more!

Afghan Women’s Mission will be a proud vendor at the 7th Annual Holiday Bazaar! We will have purses, jewelry, trinket boxes, and more, handmade from Afghanistan. All sales will benefit AWM’s important projects!

Click here to download a flyer for the event.

FREE ENTRANCE & complementary refreshments while you shop

All proceeds will directly benefit the artists and workers who made the items.

More information at www.9to5california.org. This event is organized by 9to5 Los Angeles and co-sponsored by Afghan Women’s Mission. KPFK is the media sponsor.

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Huffpost Live: No Escaping the Taliban

On October 15, 2012, Afghan Women’s Mission Co-Director Sonali Kolhatkar was a featured guest on Huffpost Live hosted by Ahmed Shihab-Eldin. The program focused on the on-going attacks against women in Afghanistan. Other panelists included Manizha Naderi, Executive Director of Women for Afghan Women, Jean MacKenzie, correspondent with the Global Post, and Jennifer Hunt, an Army Reservist who served in Afghanistan.

The panelists were asked the following question:

Violence against women spiked to its highest level since the Taliban’s fall. Will a U.S. troop withdrawal contribute to an increase in the region’s assault on women?

Watch the video below:

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‘The Courage to Say No to Misogyny’

Statement on the Attack Against 14-Year-Old Malala Yousafzai
by Malalai Joya

Malala Yousafzai remains in hospital after being shot in the head by members of a faction of the Taliban in Pakistan. Only 14, Yousafzai received international notoriety soon after her “Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl” was published by the BBC in 2009.

Owais Tohid, writing for the Christian Science Monitor, reported that young Malala was motivated by another women’s rights activist with the same namesake:

“The first time I met Malala, a couple of years ago, I asked her what her name signified. She answered: ‘Probably, a hero like the Afghan heroine Malalai [of Maiwand] or Malalai Joya. I want to be a social activist and an honest politician like her,’ she said, smiling. Ms. Joya, a 30-something activist, politician, and writer who was bitterly critical of both the Taliban and the Karzai regime, was at one point dubbed the bravest woman of Afghanistan.”

Malalai Joya, now 34, has survived numerous assassination attempts and in 2007 was suspended from the Afghan Parliament because of her criticisms of warlords, fundamentalists and the NATO occupation of Afghanistan. Joya sent rabble.ca the following statement on the shooting of Yousafzai.

On the attack against 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai

Once again we see a crime against women by dark-minded and brutal fundamentalists. Malala Yousafzai was shot by Pakistani Taliban because she did not remain silent about the ongoing crimes and brutalities against women; because, despite her young age, she had the consciousness to stand for her rights and say ‘no’ to the terrorism and misogyny of the creatures of the Stone Age.

I strongly condemn this disgraceful act of targeting an innocent 14-year-old girl. This is the real nature of Afghan and Pakistani fundamentalist Taliban. These dirty rascals pose as ‘manly’ but this heinous crime shows how unmanly and disgusting they are to kill a defenseless young girl.

Malala was targeted because, in her limited capacity, she wanted to inform the world about the brutalities going on against women by extremists. She wanted to wake up the women of the rural areas of Pakistan to stand up and defend their due rights.

This was a warning for those who only understand the language of the gun. This cowardly attack on her proves that these medieval-minded groups are aware of the potential power of awakened women and are afraid that she may become a role model for many more women. So they tried to stop her in the very beginning. But it was a failed attempt because, across Pakistan and around the whole world, people are on Malala’s side and they are condemning her enemies.

The world should know that the West, and in particular the U.S. government, have nurtured, supported and armed these dirty inhuman bands for the past three decades. They should know that still in our unfortunate Afghanistan, the U.S. and NATO rely on brothers-in-creed of the Taliban — the Northern Alliance warlords such as Qanooni, Fahim, Ismael Khan, Atta Mohammad, Abdullah, Sayyaf, Mohaqiq, Khalili and others — who have made life a torture for Afghan women. They should know that Karzai’s puppet regime is calling the murderer Taliban “brothers” and trying to share power with this anti-humanity band of killers.

I send my salutations to Malala Yousafzai and am sure that her great sacrifice will not be in vain. She marks the shining pages of history while her enemies will soon go into the dustbin of history.

© 2012 Malalai Joya

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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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Nonprofits say funds gone with center’s closing

ABC Channel 7 in Los Angeles interviewed AWM Co-Director Sonali Kolhatkar about the devastating loss of funds.

Click the play button to watch the news story below:

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6th Annual Fair Trade and Conscious Gifts Holiday Bazaar

Holiday bazaarWHEN: Saturday December 10th, from 11 am to 4 pm
WHERE: Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd, LA CA 90005 (Geneva Room – wheelchair accessible)

Don’t spend your hard earned dollars at the mall, buying overpriced gifts made in countries with no labor or environmental protections!

Shop with a clear conscience at our 6th Annual Fair Trade and Conscious Gifts Holiday Bazaar.

Browse through a wide selection of hand-made goods made either internationally with fair-trade standards, or locally by LA-based artists.

There will be jewelry, purses, pillow covers, and more from Afghanistan, as well as books, T-shirts, candles, soaps, oils, handicrafts, and much much more!

Confirmed vendors include Afghan Women’s Mission, Ten Thousand Villages, Theo Chocolate, Vida Verde, BeadforLife, Zatoun Palestinian Olive Oil, Los Switcheros del Norte, Southern California Library, Garment Workers Center, Skool Boiz, Radka Falk, Brian Biery, Sunshine, and many more!

Check out our new inventory of hand-made gifts from Afghanistan, made in RAWA’s income generation projects BELOW!

Download the flyer here.

Entrance is Free. There will be complementary hot coffee and tea plus delectable cookies and pastries!

Watch a video of an interview by AWM Co-Director Sonali Kolhatkar with Fair Trade LA Coordinator Joan Harper about Fair Trade goods and the Holiday Bazaar:

Some of the new hand-made items from Afghanistan that you will find at this year’s Holiday Bazaar:

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