In December 2003 Malalai Joya stood as the elected delegate to an Afghan grand assembly on a new Afghan Constitution. She made international headlines when she used her turn to speak out against the domination of warlords in government procedures. Since that time Joya served as an elected representative on the National Assembly when she was elected in September of 2005. Today Joya starts the Canadian portion of her tour promoting her new book, A Woman Among Warlords:The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice.
She’ll be touring from November 13 to 27 in Vancouver, Victoria, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. For more information go here.
But for a Babble topic this week as we are to be remembering wars veterans and victims, her words and life are of particular significance. Her book covers not just her life in Afghanistan, but her reasons for opposing NATO and concrete steps toward a democratic Afghanistan.
And it gives a chance to look at past reviews on Canada’s complicity in some dark international deeds.
Just this past July Black Rose Books released a new collection of essays on reviewing Canada’s role with Afghanistan.
And Yves Engler’s book, The Black Book of Foreign Policy, reviewed the history of Canada’s least publicized aspects of foreign intervention, including our role in Afghanistan.
In almost a companion piece to Joya’s new book is Andria Hill Lehr’s book, A Mother’s Road to Khanadar.
What are some other great books detailing Canada’s not so romantic past in international relations?
One of my favorites is Carol Off’s first book, The Lion, The Fox and the Eagle. It analyzed the role, and non-role, of the Canadian government and military in the Bosnian war, Rwanda and the trials that happened afterward. Off was meticulous in characterizing the key players and how Canada had managed to disappoint in each situation.