Malalai Joya was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010. An extraordinary young woman raised in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan, Joya became a teacher in secret girls’ schools, hiding her books under her burqa so the Taliban couldn’t find them.
She helped establish a free medical clinic and orphanage in her impoverished home province; and at a constitutional assembly in Kabul, Afghanistan, 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.
Malalai Joya has a pair of events in our region today. She will be speaking tonight at 7:00 pm at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany on Washington Avenue and at 1:00 pm at the Bush Memorial Auditorium at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY