A Woman Among Warlords: Malalai Joya in Canada for book tour Nov. 13 - 27

Monday, October 26, 2009 - 05:00 to Friday, November 27, 2009 - 05:00

Malalai Joya's North American book tour

Known as the "most famous woman in Afghanistan," dissident parliamentarian Malalai Joya returns to Canada Nov. 13 - 27, this time to share her new political memoir, A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice, co-written with rabble.ca editor Derrick O'Keefe. In stores now, you can order your copy today!

Joya is scheduled to speak at public events in Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Halifax, following a multi-city speaking tour in the U.S. Her speaking tour and book release could not be more timely, with the Harper government musing about extending Canadian involvement in the war in Afghanistan beyond 2011, the looming possibility of a US troop surge, public opinion in Canada turning further against the war, and recent revelations that President Karzai's brother is on the CIA payroll.

Her book tells the story of her life in the context of three decades of war. Joya details her reasons for opposing NATO's war and suggests concrete steps for building an independent and genuinely democratic Afghanistan. Today, Joya brings to a Canadian audience the lessons of Afghanistan's long history of occupation and resistance. And she hopes her book will “correct the tremendous amount of misinformation being spread about Afghanistan.”

Her tour is sponsored by Simon & Schuster, Afghan Women's Mission, the Canadian Peace Alliance, Voice of Women Canada and rabble.ca.

Schedule of events in Canada


Friday, Nov. 13. Luncheon hosted by MP Libby Davies, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden, 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver. Tickets: $20  (Proceeds to support Malalai Joya’s humanitarian projects). Contact: Phyllis 604-775-5800 / [email protected].

Saturday, Nov. 14. Book launch at St. Andrew's Wesley Church, 1022 Nelson Street (at Burrard), 7p.m. Suggested donation: $10 (no one will be turned away for lack of funds). Organized by StopWar.ca. Sponsors: Simon & Schuster Canada, the Canadian Peace Alliance, Voice of Women - Canada, rabble.ca.


Sunday, Nov. 15. Book launch, 2p.m. at University of Victoria, David Lam Auditorium, MacLaurin Bldg.
Hosted by Victoria Peace Coalition.


Monday, Nov. 16, 7p.m. University of Winnipeg, Convocation Hall. Organized by Peace Alliance Winnipeg.


Wednesday, Nov. 18, 7p.m. Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor Street West. Sponsored by Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, University of Toronto Students' Union, rabble.ca, Simon & Schuster Canada and the Canadian Peace Alliance.


Saturday, Nov. 21, 7p.m. Multipurpose Room, Rosaria Building, Mount Saint Vincent University, 166 Bedford Highway. Free to the public and a collection will be taken to support Malalai's humanitarian projects at the event. Organized by the Halifax Peace Coalition. 


Tuesday, Nov. 24, 7p.m. Salle Marie-Gerin-Lajoie, Pavillion Judith-Jasmin, UQAM. Metro Berri-UQAM.  Suggested contribution: $5. Simultaneous translation available. Organized by Collectif Echec a la guerre and the Federation des femmes du Quebec. 


Thursday, Nov. 26.  Centretown United Church (507 Bank St) 7p.m., Ottawa Peace Assembly.


Here's some of what people are saying about A Woman Among Warlords:

"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." - Noam Chomsky

-"Quite simply the most passionate and devastating critique of Western intervention in Afghanistan I have ever read." - Peace News

"A chilling, vital memoir that reveals hidden truths about Afghanistan and directly addresses the misguided policies of the United States." - Kirkus Reviews

"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." - Publishers Week

"This biography should have made Joya a leading player in Afghanistan's post-Taliban political life. Instead, she is a poster child for its failure. Saluted abroad for her courage and nominated for, or the winner of, a long list of international human rights and peace prizes, she lives clandestinely in Afghanistan itself, suspended from parliament for allegedly insulting the warlords and drug barons who occupy most of its seats." - New Statesman

Having already been published in Germany, Australia and the UK (under the title Raising My Voice), Malalai Joya's memoir is set to be translated into over a dozen languages over the next year.

About Malalai Joya

Malalai Joya has been called "the bravest woman in Afghanistan." At a constitutional assembly in Kabul in 2003, she stood up and denounced her country's powerful NATO-backed warlords. She was twenty-five years old. Two years later, she became the youngest person elected to Afghanistan's new Parliament. In 2007, she was suspended from Parliament for her persistent criticism of the warlords and drug barons and their cronies. She has survived four assassination attempts to date, is accompanied at all times by armed guards, and sleeps only in safe houses.

Often compared to democratic leaders such as Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi, this extraordinary young woman was raised in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan. Inspired in part by her father's activism, Malalai became a teacher in secret girls' schools, holding classes in a series of basements. She hid her books under her burqa so the Taliban couldn't find them. She also helped establish a free medical clinic and orphanage in her impoverished home province of Farah.


-January 2004, The Cultural Union of Afghans in Europe, awarded her the "Malalai of Maiwand" award for her brave speech in the Loya Jirga.

-December 2004, the Valle d'Aosta Province of Italy awarded her the International Women of the Year 2004 Award.
-March 15, 2006, Mr. Tom Bates, Mayor of Berkeley presented a certificate of honor to her for "her continued work on behalf of human rights".
-March 2006, she got the "Gwangju Award for Human Rights 2006" from May 18th Foundation in South Korea.

-Aug.2006, the Women's Peacepower Foundation awarded Joya "Women of Peace award 2006".

-She was named among the "1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005"

-The World Economic Forum selected Joya among 250 Young Global Leaders for 2007.

-2007 Golden Fleur-de-Lis (Giglio d'Oro) award given by Town Council of Toscana Region of Italy (July 23, 2007).
-September 11, 2007, The European Parliament named Joya among five nominees for Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2007.

-October 6, 2007, Commune of Viareggio city of Italy awarded her the Mare Nostrum Award.

-October 9, 2007, Commune of the Provincia di Arezzo, Comune di Bucine and Comune di Supino in Italy present Honorary citizenships to her.

-February 11, 2008, Malalai Joya and the documentary "Enemies of Happiness" was honoured with the "International Human Rights Film Award" by Amnesty International, Cinema for Peace and Human Rights Film Network. The award was given to her by two times academy award winning acress Hilary Swank.

-October 6, 2008, Malalai Joya received the Anna Politkovskaya Award in London which is given to courageous women who have defended human rights.

-October 21, 2008, Regional Council of Tuscany (Italy) presented Malalai Joya a Gold Medal.

-October 30, 2008, Spanish organization, Spanish Committee for the Assistance to the Refugees (CEAR), announce Malalai Joya and Kurdish activist Leyla Zana winner of 2008 Juan Maria Bandres award for Human Rights and solidarity with the refugees.

*March 28, 2009, International Anti-discrimination Award 2009 by Dutch Unity is Strength Foundation, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

More information and resources

Malalai Joya's Defense Committee

Simon & Schuster's page: A Woman Among Warlords

Enemies of Happiness: The award-winning documentary featuring Malalai Joya

North America

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