From Publishers Weekly
One of the few women, and the youngest, to win a seat in Afghanistan's Parliament, Joya recounts in strong, uncompromising language her march to activism, from her humble origins to recognizing a burning need to bring the corrupted leaders to justice in her war-torn country. Native to the western Afghan province of Ziken, and later Farah City, Joya—a name she had to adopt in order to protect her family—grew up mostly in desperate, unsafe refugee camps in Pakistan after the Russians invaded Afghanistan in 1978. With only a high school education (and one wonders how she wrote this book in English), she nonetheless became a teacher in the camps, then worked to organize underground classes for girls in Herat in defiance of Taliban edicts. Her activism grew, supporting orphanages and war victims after the Taliban fled and the U.S. began air strikes and became an armed presence; Joya is adamant in underscoring the responsibility America holds in reinstalling to power the same warlords (commanders she names in the Northern Alliance) who once tore the country apart during the civil war of the 1990s. Having won election to Parliament in 2005 at age 27—Eva Mulvad's film Enemies of Happiness
documented her election—Joya was outspoken in condemning these warlords she called criminals and antiwomen, enduring the shutting off of her microphone, assassination threats and, finally, suspension from Parliament. Joya is on a dangerous, eye-opening mission to uncover truth and expose the abuse of power in Afghanistan, and her book will work powerfully in her favor. (Oct.)
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In 2005 Joya was elected the youngest member ever of the Afghan parliament and remains one of the most controversial political figures in the country. She writes about her childhood as a part of a refugee family in Iran and Pakistan and her decision to work for Afghanistan’s women and children regardless of the deep personal cost. Joya has survived four assassination attempts and must keep the identity of her husband a secret for his own protection. She does not write with caution, however, and is both forthright and furious as she lashes out at those within Afghanistan and beyond its borders who treat its people and security with a criminal casualness. Americans will likely be shocked by her dim view of the “war on terror” and subsequent invasion of her country, but Joya pulls no punches as she spreads the blame among U.S. and Afghan leaders for the country’s woes and even refuses to spare President Obama. This is a very opinionated and clearly one-sided view of the Afghan War, yet it is a side rarely heard and thus adds a valuable voice to the annals of a conflict that shows no sign of ending. --Colleen Mondor