“You can cut the flower, but you cannot stop the coming of Spring.” Malalai Joya.
“A woman should be in her house or in her grave.” Afghan member of Parliament.
Malalai began by teaching the women to read.
Under the eyes of the Taliban, she founded an orphanage and a health clinic.
Now she is all of twenty-nine!
And her voice, in that “electric speech,”
her allotted three minutes of time
at the convention of the Afghan Constitution,
exploded around the world with her truth.
”Warlords! Corrupt criminals! Drug dealers! Murderers!
The members of this convention should be tried as war criminals
by the barefoot people of my country!
Do not hide behind the mask of Democracy!” Malalai Joya
The over-entitled, the complacent, the wealthy and the powerful
turned to her in shock, and came at her, guns raised.
“Take and rape this prostitute!” Afghan member of Parliament
Thereafter, as an elected MP, Malalai traveled with armed guards,
ever vigilant, hidden in a burqa, moving often, disguising her family.
The MPs called for her death, but women came for miles just to touch her.
“They can kill me, but they cannot kill my voice,
for it is the voice of all Afghan women.”
Whence comes the courage in this woman, still a girl?
“Why should I be afraid? I speak the truth.”
A fearless beacon, she shines in the night.
“Truth is like the sun- you cannot hide it!”
September 8, 2007
Malalai Joya is the namesake and inspiration for Malala Yousafzai, only fourteen years old, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan for speaking out for women's rights. Malala is now in a hospital in England and is expected to recover.
The courage to say no to misogyny
Statement on the attack against 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai
Rabble.ca, October 13, 2012
Malala Yousafzai remains in hospital after being shot in the head by members of a faction of the Taliban in Pakistan. Only 14, Yousafzai received international notoriety soon after her "Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl" was published by the BBC in 2009.
Owais Tohid, writing for the Christian Science Monitor, reported that young Malala was motivated by another women's rights activist with the same namesake:
"The first time I met Malala, a couple of years ago, I asked her what her name signified. She answered: 'Probably, a hero like the Afghan heroine Malalai [of Maiwand] or Malalai Joya. I want to be a social activist and an honest politician like her,' she said, smiling. Ms. Joya, a 30-something activist, politician, and writer who was bitterly critical of both the Taliban and the Karzai regime, was at one point dubbed the bravest woman of Afghanistan."
You can help Malalai Joya with making a film on her heroic life, "A Woman among Warlords" by visiting her project on "Indie-gogo."