Q&A: Malalai Joya, youngest member of Afghan Parliament and AuthorWritten on November 24th, 2009
Malalai Joya is an Afghan politician who has been called "the bravest woman in Afghanistan." As an elected member of the Wolesi Jirga from Farah province, she has publicly denounced the presence of what she considers warlords and war criminals in the parliament.
The daughter of a former medical student who lost a foot while fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Malalai Joya was 4 years old when her family fled Afghanistan in 1982 to the refugee camps of Iran and later Pakistan. After the Soviet withdrawal, Malalai Joya returned to Afghanistan in 1998 during the Taliban's reign. As a young woman she worked as a social activist and was named a director of the non-governmental group, Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities (OPAWC) in the western provinces of Herat and Farah
Title of Joya's autobiography "Raising My Voice", which was published in the US/Canada under the title of "A Woman Among Warlords" was published in October 2009
Noam Chomsky writes: "Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this inspiring memoir is that despite the horrors she relates, Malalai Joya leaves us with hope that the tormented people of Afghanistan can take their fate into their own hands if they are released from the grip of foreign powers, and that they can reconstruct a decent society from the wreckage left by decades of intervention and the merciless rule of the Taliban and the warlords who the invaders have imposed upon them."