Malalai Joya, the acclaimed Afghan activist and author of A Woman Among Warlords, will tour the United States in Spring 2011 to call attention to the on-going Afghan war and prospects for ending it. A Woman Among Warlords has just been published in paperback with a new chapter on Afghanistan in the Obama era, and will be on sale at all her events.
UPDATE 3/24 10am: VICTORY! The U.S. State Department has granted Malalai Joya a visa, and she will arrive in Boston in time to appear at the Friday event! Joya's visa had been denied by the U.S. embassy a week ago on preposterous grounds, but her supporters rallied public support and the decision has been reversed. Members of Congress and prominent organizations appealed to the State Department to reverse the visa, 3000 members of the public signed an online petition, and a rally was held in Harvard Square. Read more details.
Below is the schedule of her New England events. For U.S. events outside New England, see the Afghan Women's Mission website.
Friday, March 25, 5:30 pm, with Noam Chomsky: The Case for Withdrawal From Afghanistan (NEW LOCATION). Harvard University, Memorial Church, Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA. Sponsored by Haymarket Books, United for Justice with Peace / Afghanistan Task Force, Massachusetts Peace Action, and Boston UNAC.
Saturday, March 26, 3-5 pm: Malalai Joya: Liberating Afghan Women (CANCELLED). First Church, 6 Eliot St., Jamaica Plain, MA. Sponsored by Jamaica Plain Forum and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom: Boston Branch. This event has been cancelled.
Sunday, March 27, 5pm: Woman Among Warlords: Malalai Joya and the Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan. University of Vermont, Davis Student Center, Burlington. Sponsored by the International Socialist Organization, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and Stop the F-35 Coalition. Info: email@example.com, 802-309-4824
Monday, March 28, 4pm: University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 106 Thompson Hall. Sponsored by Western Massachusetts American Friends Service Committee, Media Education Foundation, Peace and World Security Studies. Info: 413-584-8975, firstname.lastname@example.org.
7:30pm: Smith College, Northampton, MA. Neilson Library Browsing Room. Sponsored by Smith College Anthropology Department, Smith College Global Studies Center, Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), Alliance for Peace and Justice, Western Massachusetts.
Tuesday, March 28, 6pm: Afghanistan: Nearly Ten Years Into the US War. University of New Hampshire, Dover, NH. Memorial Union Building, Theater I, 83 Main St. Spossored by the UNH Peace and Justice League, Seacoast Peace Response, and NH Peace Action.
Joya, now 33, was the youngest ever woman elected to the Afghan Parliament in 2005 and is an outspoken critic of the Karzai government and NATO occupation.
With 100,000 U.S. troops, troops from NATO contries, and tens of thousands of contractors, President Obama's escalation of the Afghanistan conflict has increased violence and civilian casualties. Joya’s speaking tour and book release is timely. “Afghan women like me, voting and running for office, have been held up as proof that the United States has brought democracy and women’s rights to Afghanistan,” Joya writes. “But it is all a lie.”
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.
Joya brings to a North American 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.”
“Afghans are sometimes represented in the media as a backward people, nothing more than terrorists, criminals and henchmen. This false image is extremely dangerous for the future of both my country and the West. The truth is that Afghans are brave and freedom loving people with a rich culture and a proud history. We are capable of defending our independence, governing ourselves and determining our own future.”
Read more about the Afghanistan conflict and about Malalai Joya by tour organizer, Sonali Kohlatkar.