Malalai Joya (born April 25, 1978) is an Afghan politician who has been called “the bravest woman in Afghanistan.” As an elected member of the Wolesi Jirga from Farah province, she has publicly denounced the presence of what she considers warlords and war criminals in the parliament. She is an outspoken critic of both the Taliban as well as the present Afghan government of Karzai and its western supporters.
In May 2007, Joya was suspended from the parliament on the grounds that she had insulted fellow representatives in a television interview. Her suspension, which is currently being appealed, has generated protest internationally and appeals for her reinstatement have been signed by high profile writers, intellectuals such as Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky, and politicians including Members of Parliament from Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. Joya has been compared to the symbol of Burma’s democracy movement, Aung San Suu Kyi. TIME magazine named Malalai Joya to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Joya has written a memoir with Canadian writer Derrick O’Keefe, under the title of “Raising My Voice”. Her most memorable quote is: “It is time for the women of Afghanistan to be unveiled, and for Afghanistan to rise again and be the great nation we remember it to be.” To be a woman growing up in Afghanistan under the Taliban and to survive is in itself a major feat. To be so lucky as to become literate in a place where girls are shrouded and denied even fresh air is close to a miracle. To start underground schools and educate girls under the noses of turbaned, self-appointed defenders of virtue and forbidders of vice is truly extraordinary.
But to get a seat in parliament and refuse to be silent in the face of the Taliban and warlord zealots shows true fiber. When Malalai Joya did this, her opponents responded in the usual way: expulsion from parliament, warnings, intimidation and attempts to cut her life short. She has survived all of it. Malalai, 31, is a leader. I hope in time she comes to see the U.S. and NATO forces in her country as her allies. She must use her notoriety, her demonstrated wit and her resilience to get the troops on her side instead of out of her country. The road to freedom is long and arduous and needs every hand.
AWARDS & HONORS
- 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.
- November 2007, The 14th Angel Award by The Angel Festival, CA, USA.
- 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 actress 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.
- November 8, 2009, US Member of Congress Barbara Lee Honors Malalai Joya.
- April 29, 2010, named to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, although she is angry at how she was portrayed as in favor of the NATO and U.S. occupation.
- June 23, 2010, Spanish daily El Mundo awards Yo Dona International award of “premio a la Labor Humanitaria” to Malalai in Madrid.
- Malalai Joya champions rape victims, 2008, by Glyn Strong.
- Enemies of Happiness, 2006, directed by Eva Mulvad.
- A Woman Among Warlords (2007). Directed by Eva Mulvad. Aired on the Wide Angle TV series in September 2007.
- Afghanistan Unveiled 2004, by Nicolas Delloye, Aina Productions.
Checkout the Collection of ASCII Art and Pictures of Malalai Joya from the below link. Download the file and extract it to your PC. To view the ASCII Art that has been stored in the Notepad Text File, Open the text file in Notepad. Then Go to Format and Uncheck WordWrap, then In Format Go to Font and Change the Font to Lucida Console and Set the Font Size to 3 or 4 Pt. Now you could be able to see the ASCII Art. Maximize the window to view in full extent. ENJOY ! !