meena“A vivid celebration of a contemporary heroine.” – Kirkus Reviews


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“This is a book not only to read but to urge others to read. It provides, in its devastating way, a measure of hope. Another way of preventing violence exists: not through repression but through the expansion of civil liberties.” — Susan Griffin, LA Times Review

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As Afghanistan continues to receive the brunt of US military attention in the post-September 11th world, the first Afghan Loya Jirga in decades will meet for six days in June 2002. AWM Co-Directors Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls recently published this analysis of what’s expected.

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OC WeeklySept. 11 made punk rock put its militancy where its mouth is: after America entered a permanent yellow alert, criticizing the government wasn’t quite so simple. Heela Naqshband even remembers punk kids wondering if they should turn their flag patches upside-down—which for every not-punk American means right-side up.

But Afghan-born Naqshband and her husband, Shahab Zargari, think progressive kids need to stick to their politics now more than ever. So Naqshband and Zargari—who, with about a half-dozen friends, run a punk label called Geykido Comet Records out of a Fullerton apartment—stepped in to help the sometimes-overlooked victims of the war on terrorism. Their recent compilation CD, Dropping Food on Their Heads Is Not Enough, is a fund-raiser for both the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) and the Afghan Women’s Mission (AWM).

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On November 12, Sonali Kolhatkar, the vice president of the Afghan Women’s Mission, interviewed Tahmeena Faryal, a member of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan during Tahmeena’s visit to the United States.

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For many Afghan women, their struggle against the Taliban has been paid for out of a coffeehouse in Old Town Pasadena. Step upstairs at the Zona Rosa Cafe, and you’ll enter the de facto office of the Afghan Women’s Mission. The AWM is the money-managing intermediary of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), the much-in-the-news underground human rights group now based in Pakistan

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“Today, in Afghanistan… thousands of women, they’ve had to go to beggary or into prostitution… it’s not a normal country anymore… for people and also for women in particular it’s a real hell.” — Sahar Saba, RAWA

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