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The Favored Daughter: One Woman's Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future [Kindle Edition]

Fawzia Koofi , Nadene Ghouri
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $8.89
You Save: $8.11 (48%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

The nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother. But she survived, and perseverance in the face of extreme hardship has defined her life ever since. Despite the abuse of her family, the exploitative Russian and Taliban regimes, the murders of her father, brother, and husband, and numerous attempts on her life, she rose to become the first Afghani woman Parliament speaker. Here, she shares her amazing story, punctuated by a series of poignant letters she wrote to her two daughters before each political trip—letters describing the future and freedoms she dreamed of for them and for all the women of Afghanistan.

Her story movingly captures the political and cultural moment in Afghanistan, a country caught between the hope of progress and the bitter truth of history.

Editorial Reviews


""Highlighting the resilience, values, and culture of the Afghan people, this moving narrative provides an evocative portrait of a battered country as it pleads with the worlds powers not to abandon the fight and risk the government's fragile stability."" ---Publishers Weekly


"Koofi’s personal story is engaging and immersive…[she] deftly writes about changes in cultural customs and norms and how they affected women, with nuance that is sometimes absent from commentary surrounding Afghan women’s lives…an inspiring and courageous story."--Muslimah Media Watch
"The Favored Daughter yiels important background about a part of the world that we should not forget or dismiss." --The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"One of the country's most outspoken democracy activists . . .Koofi describes unflinchingly the wreckage she witnessed at the hands of Afghans of all ideologies and clans." - The Globe and Mail

'An affecting inside look at the making of an Afghan woman leader, in spite of the repression by traditional Islamic society and the Taliban . . . With moving letters to her daughters opening each chapter, Koofi delivers an important message.' – KIRKUS Reviews

"A gripping account of survival against the odds. A sometimes brutal and shocking read, The Favored Daughter is never anything less than inspiring. Read it - and be happy for the chances life has given you."—Andrea Busfield, author of Born under a Million Shadows

Product Details

  • File Size: 421 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; Reprint edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WOVJO4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,684 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read January 23, 2012
I have been reading two to four books a month for two decades and my favorite genre is memoir. But The Favored Daughter, One Woman's Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future has now become my favorite book of all the memoirs I have read. I received this book as a winner in Goodreads and no payment has been made for this review. I know little about the daily life of an Afghanistan woman despite all the publicity since America has been fighting the Taliban and I have to give this book a full five stars.

I don't know exactly where to begin to describe how this book touched my heart. It wasn't just a book about the hardships of a woman in Afghanistan. It was a book about family values, a country's dearest culture, a mother's love for her daughters, a wife's love for her husband, and the indominatable spirit of a woman who believes under all hardships that helping people is better than doing anything else with one's life. Fawzia Koofi's accomplishments, despite and because of her daily challenges which were life and death, will change your thinking about your own life and circumstances.

I was riveted to the words and messages in this book and the power of Fawzia Koofi's story will last with me forever. Her words and testament to how she lives her life should be read by everyone. Today American girls are too interested in being skinny and each one of them should read The Favored Daughter. If nothing else it will show them what they do not have to conquer because America has already given them the advantages to become whatever is in their hearts. This is a most powerful book. The sentences are rich and tight with action and suspense, heartache and heartwarming scenes.

Truly, I could write a book about how this book opened my heart and renewed my own spirit. It centered me in my own values and I will probably read it again as it also teaches much more about the Afghanistan culture than the American media.

This is definitely a must read.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Afghanistan's Future February 24, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
On my recent flight back to Kabul from Istanbul I just happened to sit next to Fawzia Koofi and enjoyed conversing with her. I also just happened to see her the night before on BBC's Hard Talk. Upon my return to Kabul I immediately downloaded her book on my Kindle and devoured it in 2 days. This is not just another book about how bad women are treated in Afghanistan. Her Chapter 20 is a must read for anyone interested in Afghanistan's future. She talks about her vision for the future of Afghanistan and the current "political malnourishment" of Afghanistan and lack of social capital that results in the typical Afghan only concerned about the welfare of his immediate family and not the country. She points out that Afghans are most concerned about governance and security. If these two issues can be addressed than social capital development should ensue. Access to education, especially for girls, is key in Fawzia's opinion to changing traditional treatment of women. Fawzia does not advocate for a secular Afghanistan, she firmly believes in the concept of an islamic democracy governed by the true teachings of the Koran.

Fawzia comes from one of the most unique, remote, and beautiful parts of Afghanistan. Her book regales the reader with information on what life is like there. Bear in mind that Afghanistan has more species of cats, such as snow leopards, than Africa with many of them endemic to her Badakshan.

There are many dark forces against people like Fawzia. Unfortunately non-Afghans are limited in the extent that they can help the Fawzia type change agents of the country. Ultimately outside influences need to leave Afghanistan alone and let Afghans work out their differences and decide the future of their country.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Muslim woman's perspective June 27, 2012
As a Muslim I am grateful to Fawzia Koofi to have expressed the strength and ease I find in Islam in a book that is relevant and accessible to readers beyond those who read religious texts. Describing the kindness of others in extreme adversity, she writes, "Even though they didn't have much for themselves they still gave what little they could. This is what it means to be a true Muslim." Clarifying the essence of Islamic modesty, regardless of cultural or governmental dictates, she writes, "Covering the hair with a head scarf and wearing a long loose tunic that covers one's arms, chest and bottom is enough to satisfy the Islamic rule of being modest before God." Her vivid and horrifying stories of Taliban rule support my opinion of "how much the Taliban had damaged Islam." Above all, Fawzia Koofi gives voice to the dignity and respect Muslim girls and women are due within the tenets of the religion. Yes, many people will credit Islam with allowing the father to beat the wife, and I think the author makes it clear that her father's actions were a cultural practice well beyond what the Qur'an condones. May God bless her and keep Fawzia Koofi strong in her faith and good health. She is a voice of moderation in Islam and a sensible interpreter of living a productive, active life in the modern world as an observant Muslim.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jon Stewart is My Book Club Overlord April 3, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I would have never known about this book if not for the author's appearance on "The Daily Show". The book is amazing. Her story is compelling and powerful. I shared it with my 4 daughters and they really found it inspirational as well. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely worth reading
The Favored Daughter is educational, hopeful, and inspiring. What an admirable, brave and inspiring woman Fawzia Koofi is. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Stephanie Harnack
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What a great story!
Published 1 month ago by dora greco
4.0 out of 5 stars highly recomended
A page turner, very touching, I enjoyed reading this memoir.
Published 2 months ago by Judith B.
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I thought it was unbelievable and contradictory. Wish I'd read Malala's book instead.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I loved this book. Interesting, insightful, and easy to read.
Published 2 months ago by Sarah Walton
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good biography. A little long and repetitive towards the end
The beginning aspects and struggles of her life are very fascinating and intriguing. Everything she's gone through to get to the point in her life where she is amazing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jordan G.
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!
What a remarkable woman.......and living in Afghanistan where woman's 'place' is not in politics or working to change the status quo.
Published 5 months ago by Audrey Dodson
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
Great read. She is definitely an inspirational individual. A great role model for women all over. I recommend this book to everyone!!!
Published 5 months ago by Lucia
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Amazing!
An amazing story of an even more amazing woman. One of few women elected to the Afghanistan government, she is now running for president of Afghanistan. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JILL
5.0 out of 5 stars The Favored daughter and much, much more
This is a powerful, moving story, not only of one women, but also the description of the culture, history, tribes, warlords and multiple invasions by outsiders makes this book a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Robert Worley
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