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The nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother. But she survived, and perseverance in the face of extreme hardship has defined her life ever since. Despite the abuse of her family, the exploitative Russian and Taliban regimes, the murders of her father, brother, and husband, and nume The nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother. But she survived, and perseverance in the face of extreme hardship has defined her life ever since. Despite the abuse of her family, the exploitative Russian and Taliban regimes, the murders of her father, brother, and husband, and numerous attempts on her life, she rose to become the first Afghani woman Parliament speaker. Here, she shares her amazing story, punctuated by a series of poignant letters she wrote to her two daughters before each political trip—letters describing the future and freedoms she dreamed of for them and for all the women of Afghanistan. Her story movingly captures the political and cultural moment in Afghanistan, a country caught between the hope of progress and the bitter truth of history.


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The nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother. But she survived, and perseverance in the face of extreme hardship has defined her life ever since. Despite the abuse of her family, the exploitative Russian and Taliban regimes, the murders of her father, brother, and husband, and nume The nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother. But she survived, and perseverance in the face of extreme hardship has defined her life ever since. Despite the abuse of her family, the exploitative Russian and Taliban regimes, the murders of her father, brother, and husband, and numerous attempts on her life, she rose to become the first Afghani woman Parliament speaker. Here, she shares her amazing story, punctuated by a series of poignant letters she wrote to her two daughters before each political trip—letters describing the future and freedoms she dreamed of for them and for all the women of Afghanistan. Her story movingly captures the political and cultural moment in Afghanistan, a country caught between the hope of progress and the bitter truth of history.

30 review for The Favored Daughter: One Woman's Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I loved this memoir of a woman who grew up in a remote village in Afghanistan. She was inspired by her father's leadership skills and decided to get an education and go into politics; now she is a member of Parliament, trying to improve the lives of her fellow Afghanis, especially women. Fawzia's story is all the more amazing because after she was born, she was abandoned and left to die in the hot sun because her parents didn't want any more girls. Her mother eventually took pity and saved her, I loved this memoir of a woman who grew up in a remote village in Afghanistan. She was inspired by her father's leadership skills and decided to get an education and go into politics; now she is a member of Parliament, trying to improve the lives of her fellow Afghanis, especially women. Fawzia's story is all the more amazing because after she was born, she was abandoned and left to die in the hot sun because her parents didn't want any more girls. Her mother eventually took pity and saved her, and the two shared a close bond after that. Fawzia, who was born in 1975, has seen so much turmoil, war and death that I cannot comprehend it. First, her country was invaded by the Soviets, and then her father was killed by Afghan fighters because he had been working for the government. When the Soviets finally withdrew a decade later, a civil war broke out among different Islamic factions, and the Taliban eventually took control of much of the country. Fawzia described the horrors that occurred as soon as the Taliban were in charge. They were barbaric toward women and tortured anyone who disagreed with their religious fundamentalism. Fawzia described the Taliban's actions as madness, and that their interpretation of Islam was so far removed from hers that it was as if it had come from another planet. "The Taliban had banned women from working; a decree that completely depleted Afghanistan's medical staff. And then in a further twist of insane cruelty, they banned male doctors from treating women. Even for a common cold a male doctor was not allowed to prescribe a female so much as an aspirin. So women doctors weren't allowed to work and male doctors weren't allowed to treat females. The result? Hundreds of women died unnecessary deaths during Taliban rule. They died because they caught the flu, because they had an untreated bacterial infection, because they had blood poisoning, or a fever, or a broken bone, or because they were pregnant. They died for no sane reason, but simply because these brutal men who ran the country thought a woman's life was as worthless as a fly's. These men who claimed to be men of God had no sanctity for one of God's greatest creations -- woman." The Taliban also had strict rules for how women should dress - no makeup, no nail polish, and they must wear the full burqa in public. However, the burqa couldn't be white, because that was the color of the Taliban flag. Fawzia witnessed the beating of women who weren't wearing burqas and also women who wore burqas that were white, which in some parts of the country, was the common color. As she said, it was madness. After months of living in fear from the the Taliban, Fawzia despaired that her country was regressing into the Dark Ages. She and her husband decided to escape Kabul for a more remote part of the country where the Taliban weren't in control. "Life under the Taliban had changed me in ways I hadn't really understood until now. I wasn't the same person I had been -- my confidence had evaporated and the daily fear had exhausted my reserves of strength ... It saddened me to realize how much I had changed." Even though this memoir sounds gut-wrenching, and parts of it are, I found it to be inspiring because Fawzia included numerous letters she wrote to her daughters about her hopes and dreams for them and for a new Afghanistan. "Dear Shuhra and Shaharzad, It saddens me so much that many people in the world have a negative view of our country and our culture. The reality is there are many people who think all Afghans are terrorists or fundamentalists. They think this because our country has so often been at the heart of the world's strategic battles -- wars over oil, the cold war, the war on terror. But beneath this is a country of great history, of enlightenment, of culture ... It is a place where the people show hospitality and warmth like no others. It is also a nation where honor, faith, tradition and duty know no bounds. This, my dear girls, is a land to be proud of. Never deny your heritage. And never apologize for it. You are Afghans. Take pride in this. And make it your duty to restore our true Afghan pride to the world." I highly recommend this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    A marvellous biography, by one of Afghanistan's foremost women politicians. Not only is it a story following the fascinating life of Fawzia Koofi, from early childhood to her successes today, but it is soaked in Afghan culture. Koofi, whilst being intelligent and educated, is nevertheless Afghan to the core, and she shows us life through the eyes of an Afghan woman. We follow her life during her childhood, then during the difficult times of the Russian invaders, then the civil war when Majahideen A marvellous biography, by one of Afghanistan's foremost women politicians. Not only is it a story following the fascinating life of Fawzia Koofi, from early childhood to her successes today, but it is soaked in Afghan culture. Koofi, whilst being intelligent and educated, is nevertheless Afghan to the core, and she shows us life through the eyes of an Afghan woman. We follow her life during her childhood, then during the difficult times of the Russian invaders, then the civil war when Majahideen factions were fighting one another, and then the horrors of life under the Taliban. Finally there is the involvement of America and the UK in Afghanistan, after 9/11, when democracy was introduced to Afghanistan and the first elections held in 2005, when Koofi got a chance to stand as an MP - and won. All of this is pegged onto Koofi's life story - the experience of one woman and her family living through these different eras of Afghan history. Even before the upheavals of recent years, life was incredibly tough. I found her writing about her father (a successful politician), and her mother (the favourite wife amongst seven wives), incredibly foreign to my sensibilities - but hugely interesting. (view spoiler)[ "Unlike the boys, the girls' birthdays were never celebrated, and none of my sisters went to school" "I recall the day my sister-in-law arrived. She had been married to my elder brother at the age of twelve. He was seventeen, and they were expected to begin a full physical relationship immediately." Koofi's mother was regularly beaten by her father. He would often beat her with a metal kitchen ladle. He would beat her across the head and hands. Her hands were "misshapen and scarred" from numerous beatings. Sometimes she would be knocked unconscious. "She endured this because in her world the beatings meant love 'If a man does not beat his wife then he does not love her', (my mother) explained to me. 'He has such expectations from me and he only beats me when I fail him.' I appreciate that this may sound strange to modern ears, but it is what she genuinely believed and it sustained her. Obeying my father was not only done out of a sense of duty or fear, it was done for love, because she truly and utterly adored him. My father was outspoken, straightforward, and hard working, respected not only in Badakhshan but across the country for his generosity, honesty, faith, and fierce belief in traditional Islamic values...He was an old-fashioned politician, one who believed in the nobility of public service and helping the poor." This enmeshment of gross and noble behaviours is difficult for us to accept as normal - but it was obviously very normal in the days of Koofi's youth (and undoubtedly continues in many households today). Many Afghan women are obviously used to being utterly downtrodden. Things were very different for Koofi though, she was happily married to an educated and enlightened man, and their two girl children were brought up to feel valued and treasured. (hide spoiler)] Another issue in the book that really provoked my curiosity was Koofi's attitude towards the burqa. For much of her life she absolutely abhorred it, and describes elequently the discomfort and limitations of wearing such restrictive garment - which she had to do under the Taliban. Then later, her attitude changed completely, and she felt comfortable wearing it. When she was campaigning to become an MP, the provincial governor of her province asked her to take it off. He said that people needed to see her face in order to communicate with her. Since then she has not worn one. Given all the contention that has surrounded the wearing of the burqa in Europe, I was most interested to her changing attitudes towards it. I personally would find it a horrible garment to have to wear - the restricted vision she describes, and how incredibly stifling it becomes in hot weather. She really made it sound claustrophobic and unpleasant. Koofi's life story is fascinating - she must be an outstanding person to have achieved the successes that she has, add into that all the experiences that everyone in Afghanistan has endured in recent years, and finally add in a distinctly Afghan perspective....and you have a marvellous book. Highly recommended. ------------------------------------------- An inspiring TED lecture by Fawzia Koofi - a far better enticement to read the book than my review.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHKsV...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

    I saw Fawzia Koofi on a recent episode of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," and her brief interview made me rush out and buy this book as soon as I could. This book should be required reading for high school students (boys and girls, but especially girls), as well as any adult who can be convinced to pick it up. Fawzia Koofi's life story is compelling and inspiring, and I find myself both inspired and embarrassed by her, mainly because I am a soft, middle-class American woman whose toughest stru I saw Fawzia Koofi on a recent episode of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," and her brief interview made me rush out and buy this book as soon as I could. This book should be required reading for high school students (boys and girls, but especially girls), as well as any adult who can be convinced to pick it up. Fawzia Koofi's life story is compelling and inspiring, and I find myself both inspired and embarrassed by her, mainly because I am a soft, middle-class American woman whose toughest struggles to date have consisted primarily in deciding what to wear to work. Koofi was born just a few years before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In her lifetime, she has overcome her father's murder, the Soviet invasion, the ensuing power vacuum and civil war by mujahedeen, fighting for the right to a basic education, her beloved older brother's murder, her mother's death, Taliban rule, her husband's death, hardship, deprivation, fear, flight, the scattering of her family, death threats, and more war, to become Afghanistan's first (deputy) speaker of Parliament. And she's not even 40 years old yet. Koofi's simple, matter-of-fact account of her life drew me in from page one and kept me riveted until the last sentence. I'm trying to think of some eloquent way to discuss this book but really, it's just such a compelling story that needs to be read without picking apart the tiny little details. Just read it. For a brief introduction to her, check out her interview: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jan Marquart

    I have been reading two to four books a month for two decades and my favorite genre is memoir. But The Favored Daughter, One Woman's Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future has now become my favorite book of all the memoirs I have read. I received this book as a winner in Goodreads and no payment has been made for this review. I know little about the daily life of an Afghanistan woman despite all the publicity since America has been fighting the Taliban and I have to give this book a full five I have been reading two to four books a month for two decades and my favorite genre is memoir. But The Favored Daughter, One Woman's Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future has now become my favorite book of all the memoirs I have read. I received this book as a winner in Goodreads and no payment has been made for this review. I know little about the daily life of an Afghanistan woman despite all the publicity since America has been fighting the Taliban and I have to give this book a full five stars. I don't know exactly where to begin to describe how this book touched my heart. It wasn't just a book about the hardships of a woman in Afghanistan. It was a book about family values, a country's dearest culture, a mother's love for her daughters, a wife's love for her husband, and the indominatable spirit of a woman who believes under all hardships that helping people is better than doing anything else with one's life. Fawzia Koofi's accomplishments, despite and because of her daily challenges which were life and death, will change your thinking about your own life and circumstances. I was riveted to the words and messages in this book and the power of Fawzia Koofi's story will last with me forever. Her words and testament to how she lives her life should be read by everyone. Today American girls are too interested in being skinny and each one of them should read The Favored Daughter. If nothing else it will show them what they do not have to conquer because America has already given them the advantages to become whatever is in their hearts. This is a most powerful book. The sentences are rich and tight with action and suspense, heartache and heartwarming scenes. Truly, I could write a book about how this book opened my heart and renewed my own spirit. It centered me in my own values and I will probably read it again as it also teaches much more about the Afghanistan culture than the American media. This is definitely a must read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Visala

    Following her interview with Jon Stewart, I ordered the book on Amazon. I got it yesterday evening.....just finished reading it an hour ago...this is one amazing book!! One thing that stands out in the recent books that I have read - whether it is Fawzia Koofi or Sonia Sotomayor, this incredible human resilience, optimism and the instinct of survival in the worst of circumstances to hope for a better tomorrow, is fascinating!! These women are such inspiring role models, in front of us, in our ow Following her interview with Jon Stewart, I ordered the book on Amazon. I got it yesterday evening.....just finished reading it an hour ago...this is one amazing book!! One thing that stands out in the recent books that I have read - whether it is Fawzia Koofi or Sonia Sotomayor, this incredible human resilience, optimism and the instinct of survival in the worst of circumstances to hope for a better tomorrow, is fascinating!! These women are such inspiring role models, in front of us, in our own lifetime!! The next time we feel low, nurturing our petty FWPs as my daughter puts it (First World Problems) we just have to think of these women....to realize how good we have it and to introspect what we have done with our good fortune! Do go get a copy and read this one, if you can.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica O'Toole

    Not many spoilers... This book is worth reading for the jigsaw puzzle that is Middle Eastern politics and the kinds of people who are involved or affected by it. It is difficult to understand exactly what life is like in that part of the world and so drawing on direct experience is always welcome. However, I do wonder how much the co-writer, a BBC journalist, had in 'livening up' the story and introducing such obvious propaganda. I enjoyed reading about Koofi's childhood, and how certain sections Not many spoilers... This book is worth reading for the jigsaw puzzle that is Middle Eastern politics and the kinds of people who are involved or affected by it. It is difficult to understand exactly what life is like in that part of the world and so drawing on direct experience is always welcome. However, I do wonder how much the co-writer, a BBC journalist, had in 'livening up' the story and introducing such obvious propaganda. I enjoyed reading about Koofi's childhood, and how certain sections of Afghan society lived, about the different areas of geographical Afghanistan - before being subjected to the Taliban - and also the fact she seems to feel so much love for her country. The story of her experience of being attacked in her home district, fleeing to Kabul and starting off a better, more equal life (for example, being able to go to school), also, in my opinion, needed no extra fluff or attempts to make us 'feel' the emotional content. Readers tend to be good at connecting with stories such as Koofi's, but scraping barrels is too easily observed. The problem is - and this is the unfortunate by-product, I think, of having a journalistic input in a biographical arena - that every time something comes up after the mention of Islam - even the regressive Islam of the Taliban that Koofi objected greatly to - and primarily the subjugation of women, there is a line or two of how these things form a heavy part of Afghan history and how Western people might not quite understand why these things are accepted. Certainly, Westerners may very well not understand why some actions were taken (or not taken), but when writing a biography there should be no need to justify every single thing that we Westerners might take exception to, nor indeed can both sides of different oppressive experiences (from a Western view) be defended at the same time, when the author herself is opposed to one of them. Indeed, this is why I believe it is more propaganda - the work is too forceful in its attempt to make us understand why women, who are very much aware that things are not right with their place in society, are treated so distastefully in Afghanistan under Islam. Koofi often mentions about the beatings of her mother by her father, wanting to find a man who respects her (more than other women in Afghanistan expect, it seems), and also the fact that when she was in Parliament the men treated her and the other women like second-class citizens. The problem is, that she has spent the whole book up to that point (parliament) defending the ways of Muslim men (and I purposefully point out the Islamic factor because she does so herself pointedly), and so when she is confronted by all these 'traditional' ideas in an arena such as politics she takes great offence to them, as if they should automatically accept her presence, ad against everything she has previously justified. My respect is fully with her for carrying on and earning the votes that won her the seat, but either you believe in something or you don't. You cannot defend the use of the burqa in your own society and damn it when the Taliban enforces it on women. You cannot defend your father not ever speaking to you (but to tell you to go away once) and him beating your mother, but object to the way the Taliban treats you as a woman when under their regime, which is not so different. There are some horrific things, obviously, that the Taliban carried out, but she is very much concerned most of the time with making them - the followers of more conservative Islamism - as the wrong kind of Muslim. It cannot be both ways, and I think that either the author was coached to push the emotional agenda or she is severely conflicted and refusing to accept the things she does not agree with because she does not want to betray what everyone expects of her as a good Muslim woman. It seems far too much like we are being subjected to some light emotional manipulation so as not see parts of her region and her country for what they are in comparison with our own, and indeed, what Koofi seems to be searching for - she was fighting for Afghanistan to become a democratic, and I would argue, more egalitarian country, after all. Change is very hard, especially the changing and challenging of opinions, however, she could learn something about politics, like her heroines Thatcher and Gandhi. Actions speak louder than gender. It's extremely unfortunate that this was what I left this book with. Hardly anything of her political career was written about. I would have loved to have heard the kinds of things she was fighting for in that parliament and whether these people who looked down on her changed their views. It's likely I will look into her interviews and appearances to find out a bit more, as I find her interesting, but whichever editor decided it was OK to push so much baseless padding (like the letters to loved ones at the beginning of each chapter, which personally gave nothing to the story and disrupted my interest quite a bit) on a story that seemed perfectly legitimate without, might leave Koofi needing a new one if literature is going to make up more of her future.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Tipping

    Review written for http://forbookssake.net/ The Favored Daughter is the powerful memoir of Fawzia Koofi, the human rights campaigner and first female Speaker of the Afghan parliament. The story traces her life from her birth into a patriarchal society in Northern Afghanistan, through the death of her father, himself a prominent and respected politician and the turbulence caused by his assassination. Always ambitious, she goes to school in Kabul during the Soviet and civil war eras but her educati Review written for http://forbookssake.net/ The Favored Daughter is the powerful memoir of Fawzia Koofi, the human rights campaigner and first female Speaker of the Afghan parliament. The story traces her life from her birth into a patriarchal society in Northern Afghanistan, through the death of her father, himself a prominent and respected politician and the turbulence caused by his assassination. Always ambitious, she goes to school in Kabul during the Soviet and civil war eras but her education is cut short in 1996 with the arrival of the Taliban and she returns to her home province of Badakhshan, which is under Northern Alliance control. Fawzia’s political awakening comes while working on a project to survey the health of the people of her region, where she meets villagers who knew and loved her father. From this point she knows her path is to help the people of her country and this leads on to her to work for UNICEF and eventually to becoming a Speaker of the parliament in 2005. The main body of the text is first person narrative. It is both factual and emotional. The style is neither excessively arrogant nor annoyingly modest. She was ambitious, she worked hard, she achieved great success, she has received multiple death threats. She loved her family and her husband passionately and she grieved deeply when she lost them. These are the facts of her reality. She neither shies from them nor revels in them. The chapters are divided by letters to her daughters to be read in the event of her death. Through these she is passing on to her daughters her values, her love of her country and of her Muslim faith, in case they have to grow up without her and without the loving family from whom Fawzia herself learned so much. I thought initially that the divide between the main chapters and the letters to her daughters would signify the divide between her public persona and her family life. But actually there is no divide. She feels the same powerful maternal instinct towards Afghanistan as she does towards her daughters. Throughout the book she is saying to both “You are beautiful, you are wonderful, you are capable of achieving whatever you want in life. I love you, I would die for you and I probably will”. What comes across is the strength and determination of Afghan women as they live at the mercy of the men in power. Although to Western readers the multiple wives, regular beatings and burqas of her mother’s generation appear horrific, we get a sense that women were also accorded great respect and dignity. From the Soviet invasion to the present day the circumstances of Afghan women have alternated between the freedom of the Soviet and post-Taliban eras and the total repression of the Taliban. Afghan society has historically been patriarchal, but the Taliban’s vicious lack of respect and sickening violence always felt alien to Koofi and it is so sad to hear that the Western-backed president Karzai is allowing a return to those values. It’s not an easy read. She is clearly a serious woman and the stories are harrowing, but it is well written with the help of journalist, Nadene Ghouri and gives an insight into an inspiring woman and a remarkable country.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julie Dolcemaschio

    This book left a lot of unanswered questions for me, and I put the book down with perhaps three dozen pages left. The story is harrowing, as any story of a woman growing up and living in Afghanistan would be, but throughout the book I never felt as though Koofi understood life outside of Afghanistan enough to actually rule, or lead a country in such a condition as this one. In short, I didn't buy it, or her. While she said she was educated, I didn't see it in terms of her knowledge of how the re This book left a lot of unanswered questions for me, and I put the book down with perhaps three dozen pages left. The story is harrowing, as any story of a woman growing up and living in Afghanistan would be, but throughout the book I never felt as though Koofi understood life outside of Afghanistan enough to actually rule, or lead a country in such a condition as this one. In short, I didn't buy it, or her. While she said she was educated, I didn't see it in terms of her knowledge of how the rest of the world works, and that her very gender is not respected or hardly acknowledged at all left me cold and, frankly, skeptical of her powers to change things. I appreciated the beauty of the Afghanistan she loves, and I saw her strength shine through every word. I loved the sense of family she created, and that she was such a devoted wife and is still a devoted mother is noteworthy. However, as a UNICEF ambassador, I wonder what she has done, or will do as president, to eradicate Bacha Bazi (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/a...). She spoke nothing of this practice, and as a children's advocate, this heinous practice of the sexual abuse of boys is not news to her. Overall, I felt that the author spent an inordinate amount of time trying to convince the west that we don't understand. We don't, but Ms. Koofi did little to enlighten us.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    As some other reviewers did, I saw Ms. Koofi on the Jon Stewart show and went right out and bought the book. I am in the middle of it, but inspired to write a review bc her story is educational, inspiring and worthwhile (also sometimes brutal). Many people-- women and men-- supported her in her efforts throughout her life which I probably shouldn't have found surprising, but I did. I seem to hear of so much of the brutality and of women as second class citizen's but it is a much more nuanced soc As some other reviewers did, I saw Ms. Koofi on the Jon Stewart show and went right out and bought the book. I am in the middle of it, but inspired to write a review bc her story is educational, inspiring and worthwhile (also sometimes brutal). Many people-- women and men-- supported her in her efforts throughout her life which I probably shouldn't have found surprising, but I did. I seem to hear of so much of the brutality and of women as second class citizen's but it is a much more nuanced society. The book reminds me of Ayaan Hirsi Alii's life and her books Infidel and Nomad (which were better written and were two of my favorites). This book is an equally important read for me. I want to know about this country and its people that our country has helped, and a story of someone who has fought and overcome challenges is always inspiring to me. updated: now I have finished it and it did not disappoint. A lot of important information about Afghanistan that helps me understand it all better. She is an amazing person, and even if the book is not superbly written, it is well written, easy to read and interesting. Well worth the time.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Diana Gagliardi

    Amazing book, amazing woman. I now have a much better and deeper understanding of Afghanistan and all it's been through. Seeing it through Afghani eyes and experience creates a much more compelling background for helping and assisting a country that has suffered from far too many people trying to claim it. We are lucky in our distance and in not having to know what the sounds of war are. Fantastic book. Thank you Jon Stewart for making me get it. Amazing book, amazing woman. I now have a much better and deeper understanding of Afghanistan and all it's been through. Seeing it through Afghani eyes and experience creates a much more compelling background for helping and assisting a country that has suffered from far too many people trying to claim it. We are lucky in our distance and in not having to know what the sounds of war are. Fantastic book. Thank you Jon Stewart for making me get it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    M.F. Moonzajer

    The favored daughter describes the life of an Afghan woman from many angles, which often has been ignored even by media and human rights institutions. The book went viral after Koofi attend Jon Stewart’s show, the Daily Show, a satirical news program and talked about her life and works for the empowerment of women’s rights in Afghanistan.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is not only a wonderful read, it is also a very important book. If she survives, Fawzia Koofi could easily become the next president of Afghanistan. She is now another hero of mine, someone whose life I plan to follow. The nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother. Somehow she survived and became a favorite daughter, the only girl in her family to get educated. She comes from a culture where women are This is not only a wonderful read, it is also a very important book. If she survives, Fawzia Koofi could easily become the next president of Afghanistan. She is now another hero of mine, someone whose life I plan to follow. The nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother. Somehow she survived and became a favorite daughter, the only girl in her family to get educated. She comes from a culture where women are barely second class citizens. Her father, who had 7 wives, only spoke to Fawzia once before he was assassinated. Her mother accepted physical abuse as a form of attention. Somehow, Fawzia was able to escape rural Afghanistan and move to the city where she was working on her medical degree. Then the Taliban arrived and she was forced to quit her studies. The Taliban allowed no female doctors and women couldn't be treated by a male doctor so, for many years, women had no health care. While still a newlywed, her new husband was arrested and severely abused. He suffered and finally died from the untreated pneumonia he contacted in prison. One brother was murdered and another escaped. Of the 18 million people in Afghanistan, 6 million died and 6 million fled during the wars. The Pashtanwali area between Pakistan and Afghanistan was open so Koofi's family escaped there for a while. People flowed freely through the opne borders. The Pahtu people never accepted borders that were created by foreigners. That may be one of the great problem Americans have understanding our relationship with Pakistan. Osama Bin Laden hid for years in this area. Koofi ran for office and is now the first female Speaker of Parliament. She is idealistic but fiercely realistic. To quote, "Afghanistan is awash with corruption, flawed religious extremism, and a river of money from the sea of opium poppies grown on our farmland." Her story and her philosophy give me great hope for the future of Afghanistan.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    In truth, I had to abandon this book -- at least for the time being. I picked it up because I saw Ms. Koofi interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, and I thought her story was compelling, and to some extent, that is true. I'm just not sure what is true in the book. Ms. Koofi tells her story as an adult looking back at her life as a child. As such, one would expect the narrator to be unreliable -- much as Scout Finch is unreliable in To Kill a Mockingbird. Ms. Koofi's reflections on the eve In truth, I had to abandon this book -- at least for the time being. I picked it up because I saw Ms. Koofi interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, and I thought her story was compelling, and to some extent, that is true. I'm just not sure what is true in the book. Ms. Koofi tells her story as an adult looking back at her life as a child. As such, one would expect the narrator to be unreliable -- much as Scout Finch is unreliable in To Kill a Mockingbird. Ms. Koofi's reflections on the events that occurred in her youth seem to be those of her as an adult today, and this makes the reflections come across as contrived and hollow. Also troubling about her reflections and commentary are that they seem geared to make her seem more savvy than she may actually be. On several occasions, I felt that she was touting her own intelligence and understanding of situations -- that this book was a mechanism for self-promotion, which one would need to do if one wishes to be the first female president of Afghanistan, but I found it annoying. I know, I need specific examples for this review to be really worth it's salt, but I've already returned the book to the library. I'm sorry. The other trouble I have with the book is the actual writing. Too often, I find the writing to be basic, but I presume that is because English is not Ms. Koofi's first language. Still, a good editor could have fixed some of the stylistic issues and poor sentence structure. I DO want to finish reading the book. The story is interesting enough to make me want to return to it, but I think I'll listen to the audiobook in the car, rather than try to read the book. The language is basic enough that listening is sufficient -- I won't miss any opportunity to re-read and relish any passages.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erin Herzog

    This book was outstanding! Fawzia Koofi is only a few years older than me but she has lived a life so far removed from that of mine. We learn about her upbringing as a young Afghanistan girl - one who listens and learns from her family elders. We learn about the change of leadership in her country – from a pristine countryside to one that is taken over by Taliban extremists. We watch as her father is murdered while trying to serve his village’s constituents and we see how her family endures in n This book was outstanding! Fawzia Koofi is only a few years older than me but she has lived a life so far removed from that of mine. We learn about her upbringing as a young Afghanistan girl - one who listens and learns from her family elders. We learn about the change of leadership in her country – from a pristine countryside to one that is taken over by Taliban extremists. We watch as her father is murdered while trying to serve his village’s constituents and we see how her family endures in not only his passing, but also in the destruction of the city in which they called home. We follow along as her family tries to survive in a post 9/11 world – one that is so different and yet so similar to the fears we faced as American’s following that fateful September day. Fawzia is determined to make a difference for the next generation of Afghanistan women and children and follows her father’s footsteps into the local political scene despite being the target of multiple suicide bombers. Throughout the book, Fawzia writes letters to her young daughters, keeping them informed of her whereabouts and projects that will hopefully change the lives of young people and help build a better Afghanistan. The book left me hopeful that Fawzia will succeed in building a better life for those that are suffering. She inspired me to reach out and do more – especially as we enter an election year – and encourage men and women to use their powerful vote and let their voice be heard. Fawzia taught me that I can and NEED to use my voice to make a difference. VERY inspiring read!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joyce Scapicchio

    I am left humbled, horrified, aghast, anxious, dare I think even slightly hopeful after reading Koofi's life (so far) story... maybe she WILL one day be president of Afghanistan. Though the writing is not always the best, and the end a little preachy, her story is gripping. From abandonment at birth, through a lifetime of war and discrimination, Koofi persists, and somehow grows into an incredible woman. She has become not just a strong and educated woman, but also a mother and leader in her wor I am left humbled, horrified, aghast, anxious, dare I think even slightly hopeful after reading Koofi's life (so far) story... maybe she WILL one day be president of Afghanistan. Though the writing is not always the best, and the end a little preachy, her story is gripping. From abandonment at birth, through a lifetime of war and discrimination, Koofi persists, and somehow grows into an incredible woman. She has become not just a strong and educated woman, but also a mother and leader in her worn and torn country, a true achievement in spite of the country"s historic repression of females. Not many would take the risks she took to get her education, or face the hatred and prejudice head-on to fight for a seat at the political table, but she does with grace, and determination, and hope for the future. Her story takes you inside the tumultuous country over the last few decades, and by the end, you understand the problems, the country and the people a lot more. And, I am sorry to say, it may also revive your fear of the Taliban and the dangers they may still pose.

  16. 4 out of 5

    India

    Like several other reviewers here, I was captivated by an interview with Fawzia Koofi and hurried to get hold of her book. Her story is at once deeply disturbing and inspirational, and the book is certainly thought-provoking. Moments of vivid detail (a prison guard notices her polished nails; she battles morning sickness wearing a burqa) are tremendously powerful. However, as a book it was disappointing; the editorial process did not serve her story well. The device of using letters to loved one Like several other reviewers here, I was captivated by an interview with Fawzia Koofi and hurried to get hold of her book. Her story is at once deeply disturbing and inspirational, and the book is certainly thought-provoking. Moments of vivid detail (a prison guard notices her polished nails; she battles morning sickness wearing a burqa) are tremendously powerful. However, as a book it was disappointing; the editorial process did not serve her story well. The device of using letters to loved ones as chapter openers quickly becomes just that, a device; some important narrative threads are simply left hanging, for no apparent reason. More a worthy-read than a good-read, unfortunately.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Fay

    This book was fascinating from a historical and cultural perspective. It presented the historical information clearly. I finished the book with a deep admiration of the author as well. She is a profoundly forgiving person. Her optimism is backed up by people see has seen open their minds after one of her speeches. She tells a story that is compelling in and of itself, but the writing style doesn't draw you in. I'm glad I read it; reading this book is worlds better than learning about this topic This book was fascinating from a historical and cultural perspective. It presented the historical information clearly. I finished the book with a deep admiration of the author as well. She is a profoundly forgiving person. Her optimism is backed up by people see has seen open their minds after one of her speeches. She tells a story that is compelling in and of itself, but the writing style doesn't draw you in. I'm glad I read it; reading this book is worlds better than learning about this topic in the news. I hope she continues to write and develop her written "voice".

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    Whenever I read a politician's book, I am skeptical. So I definitely could believe that some of Fawzia Koofi's memoir might turn out to be nothing but self promotion. And yet, it seems so genuine and humble. I love this story and I love the advice and messages scattered throughout about being a woman in a society that is makes it very hard to be one. A great read that makes me want to learn more about Afghanistan. It makes no apologies for the region or Islam, instead she has great insight as to Whenever I read a politician's book, I am skeptical. So I definitely could believe that some of Fawzia Koofi's memoir might turn out to be nothing but self promotion. And yet, it seems so genuine and humble. I love this story and I love the advice and messages scattered throughout about being a woman in a society that is makes it very hard to be one. A great read that makes me want to learn more about Afghanistan. It makes no apologies for the region or Islam, instead she has great insight as to how to being to "fix" things. I will be rooting for Ms Koofi.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Hanson

    This is another book that makes me grateful that I was born in a country where women are allowed to receive an education and engage in politics. Fawzia's story covers her childhood growing up in Afghanistan and living through the rise of the Taliban. I think this book showcases that the Taliban's views do not reflect the views of many of the Afghan people. Her story of survival and her pursuit of politics and gave me a new view of the country of Afghanistan. This is another book that makes me grateful that I was born in a country where women are allowed to receive an education and engage in politics. Fawzia's story covers her childhood growing up in Afghanistan and living through the rise of the Taliban. I think this book showcases that the Taliban's views do not reflect the views of many of the Afghan people. Her story of survival and her pursuit of politics and gave me a new view of the country of Afghanistan.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    The daughter of a well-off and politically active father ... but still a daughter. Strong mother, strong family ties, a husband who was generally supportive of her ambitions and an education allowed Fawzia to overcome horrendous tragedies and rise into the family business of politics. Very hard to read at some points. At points hopeful, but Afghanistan has so far to go.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pwelle

    An excellent read The author gives good insight into the Afghan culture. It is difficult to understand some of their customs - especially the treatment of women. The book also gives a good history of the power changes in recent years and how that has affected the people of Afganastan.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    What an amazing, inspiring woman! The book is written well, and I particularly like the letters to her daughters at the end of each chapter. If she can survive assassins, taliban, tribal fighters, and incredible loss and still strive to fight for her country and her beliefs, then I can do my bit for mine. Definitely worth reading! 4.5 stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    She's a formidable woman and this biography reveals the derivation of her political life. She shares some pretty personal stories, uncommon for Afghans, but it makes for a compelling read. The best part of Fawzia Koofi's story is that it's not over. She's a formidable woman and this biography reveals the derivation of her political life. She shares some pretty personal stories, uncommon for Afghans, but it makes for a compelling read. The best part of Fawzia Koofi's story is that it's not over.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Sheehan

    Quick read. An interesting story, but very repetitive and self-promoting.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vavita

    Amazing biography! A hard-working, honest and strong woman! Amazing life!

  26. 5 out of 5

    AJ LeBlanc

    I picked up The Favored Daughter after seeing an interview with Koofi on The Daily Show. She was promoting her book, speaking about her plans to continue in Afghanistan’s government, and the importance of fighting for her country. She was calm and serious and you could tell that she lives her life with clear purpose. She doesn’t have time to waste time, especially knowing that people want to kill her. She plans to run for president and knows her life will continue to be in danger. John Stewart w I picked up The Favored Daughter after seeing an interview with Koofi on The Daily Show. She was promoting her book, speaking about her plans to continue in Afghanistan’s government, and the importance of fighting for her country. She was calm and serious and you could tell that she lives her life with clear purpose. She doesn’t have time to waste time, especially knowing that people want to kill her. She plans to run for president and knows her life will continue to be in danger. John Stewart was clearly in awe of her and his sincerity and respect for her story made me want to get her book. I wanted to know why she is willing to die for her country. The Favored Daughter is a wonderful mix of memoir and history. Koofi tells her life story through the politics of Afghanistan because she cannot separate the two. When explaining why she had to drop out of medical school, she first has to explain how her country changed when other countries interfered. She has to explain how quickly the Taliban moved in. She needs you to understand that although it was a patriarchal society where women had little to no rights, some women did thrive in their households. She knows she cannot explain why a husband would beat his wife so that they could both be proud, but she does want to show you the love and community of her people. Families are huge and will always be welcomed and helped however possible. Her story starts out with her intended death. Girls were useless and when her mother bore this daughter, she left her in the sun to die. Koofi did not die and her mother vowed to love and protect her more than any of her children. Koofi’s father had several wives and she had many brothers and sisters. Her mother ruled that entire household and it was amazing to see how she managed the other wives in a way that created a family and kept jealousy and anger away. Koofi was born willful and stubborn. Refusing to die was the first of her many steps to change her life. She persuaded her parents and brothers to allow her to attend school. She was rarely dissuaded from goals. She would achieve as much as her brothers, for she too was her father’s child. In fact, she was the only girl child her father asked to see. As Koofi got older, she saw the power and danger of politics. Her father served as a government official and people respected him a great deal. However, this also made him a target and he was assassinated. During this time, Koofi’s older family members and their neighbors did their best to protect the younger children, especially the boys. As war explodes in Afghanistan from within (and yes, I still cannot explain the specifics), Koofi and her mother go to Kabul where they are safe. Koofi loves it there. She is free to go to school, to wear shorter skirts and a bit of makeup (as long as her brothers don’t see) and walk the streets with her girl friends. She is a strong student and plans on becoming a doctor. And then the Taliban move in. And they move in fast. She hears tales of this extremist group but no one seems to understand the threat or see what is about to happen. One day she was happily out with friends and then the very next day she wakes up to young members of the Taliban who refuse to let a woman leave her house without a burqa. Men and women are randomly gathered to be beaten. No one can figure out the rules. A Taliban soldier might decide he’s bored and target someone for not upholding the tenets of what it means to be Muslim. Men and women are whipped in the streets, their homes are raided, stores are destroyed and forced to close, and anyone can be sent to jail at any time, simply because the Taliban is suspicious of something. Koofi’s heart breaks when this happens. She is furious with this perversion of her Muslim faith. These men are extremists and she hates how they’ve twisted words to gain power and how they’ve poisoned the minds of Americans and others into believing that this is what it means to be Muslim. She watches as men who are against what is happening are forced to join in so they can get a job to feed their families. Some are willing to help quietly, knowing that they could be beaten or imprisoned themselves. The theme of community and family come up again and again as Koofi shows the kindness of her fellow Afghani. On the other hand, young men who had no power before the Taliban came in are now greedy with their new positions. They happily and mercilessly beat women in the streets. They gleefully collect contraband and destroy it in front of families. The report everyone they see. They’ve been given power and it corrupts them quickly and completely. Koofi watches in horror and shame as her country destroys knowledge and culture. The Buddhas of Bamiyan are destroyed. Colleges are shut down. There is no entertainment. Wedding ceremonies and celebrations are forbidden. It’s painful and nearly unbearable, especially since such a short time ago Koofi and other women were able to go to school, to learn, and to begin better lives than their mothers had. They still have moments of love and safety behind closed doors, but bombs have begun to fall and no one knows where the next threat will come from. Koofi’s brother arranges a marriage for her, and she is pleased with the man, Hamid. He came several times to seek Koofi from her brother and was turned away again and again. He finally persuades the family and they are married, but without the traditional ceremony and celebration, which Koofi aches for. They have two daughters. Hamid is delighted with the first, but angry at the second for not being a boy. Koofi never gets over this betrayal and anger. However, she does not have much time to dwell on her hurt. Soon after they marry, Hamid is thrown into jail by the Taliban. Koofi goes there every day, demanding his release. She doesn’t not know what the charges are or what is happening to him. He is finally released and comes home, sick and weak. She becomes pregnant with their second daughter, but he is taken in again. This time he gets tuberculosis and they both know he will not live long. As her story continues, she explains the changes in her country and her different levels of freedom helped me understand what was happening. The women have their rights taken away, given back, made strong, made weaker, and all of this spurs Koofi into action. A new government is being formed and it is time for her to take her family’s place. She seeks the approval from her brothers, and of course is told she is forbidden. They have chosen the family’s candidate and will not let their sister be involved. Like always, she simply refused to hear the word “no” and pushes and pushes until they back down. Although the ballots were tampered with, she wins. And then she soars. Watching her come into her own power is amazing and fantastic and humbled me greatly. She’s given up everything in order to give others more. She knows if she continues to work and work and work and make people from her country and from other countries listen, she will make Afghanistan stronger. She loves her country. She loves her countrymen. She loves who she is and what she can do.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Equally heartbreaking and inspiring. So honored to watch this woman in action!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This is a book which is simply incredible. Incredible as in beyond belief. It amazes me that human beings can live through such huge changes in just one life time, and come out relatively normal. Fawzia Koofi was born into a Russian controlled Afghanistan. She then lived through the warlords seizing the country. The Taliban were the next stage of her life followed by 9/11 and all the kak that brought Afghanistan. And now she is a member of the democratically elected government in Afghanistan. One This is a book which is simply incredible. Incredible as in beyond belief. It amazes me that human beings can live through such huge changes in just one life time, and come out relatively normal. Fawzia Koofi was born into a Russian controlled Afghanistan. She then lived through the warlords seizing the country. The Taliban were the next stage of her life followed by 9/11 and all the kak that brought Afghanistan. And now she is a member of the democratically elected government in Afghanistan. One women, one life, all of that. Wow Koofi was relatively fortunate after the truly horrible start she had in life. Daughters are not highly regarded in that part of the world and she was left, after her birth, to die in the sun. What she did was get third degree burns on her tiny baby face and survive. Surprisingly the relationship she had with her mother did improve. Anyway, despite being a girl she was much loved by her father and was the only girl in her family allowed to get an education. All while in rural Afghanistan. Her father was involved political; a heritage which would stand her well eventually. Fast forward to the Taliban sweeping up the country, settling a frightened people and bulldozing over the rest. It is interesting to read her account of how and why the Taliban gained power; fear is an amazingly powerful tool for politicians. Koofi went from going to school to being unable to leave her house unless completely covered (and not in white because that colour belonged to the Taliban!) and accompanied by a male relative. Understandably she struggles against this oppression of women; she was reared to be more than a chattel. But the Taliban ruled ruthlessly and everyone obeyed. It is interesting to read how Koofi re-experiences her life and the things that happened through a modern woman’s perspective. Her father physically abuses her mother and although Koofi makes it clear she does not approve of it, she also explains the circumstance of life then so that as a reader I understood it in a way I did not expect to. She does the same with the Taliban taking over Afghanistan. She manages to make the humanity of the people very real, their fears tangible and their reactions understandable. Outside of a country like Afghanistan we (or I) forget that not everyone agrees with what the county is doing. So many ordinary Afghans did not support the Taliban but had no choice. Democracy is a pipe dream when people are beaten for the colour clothing they wear or who they talk to. Koofu survived the loss of most of her family, the imprisonment, illness and death of her husband and the birth of her two daughters to become one of the people Afghanistan needs; a woman who believes the country should be united in their nationality and not separated by their beliefs; a moderate woman who understands that her religious choice is her choice and that others have the right to their choices; an Afghan leader who refuses to be corrupt; a woman fighting for women in a society which historically does not respect women; a mother, daughter, wife and sister, everywoman. This book made me think and question my preconceptions about lots of stuff. The majority of people are the same everyone – they just want to live peacefully. If only the megalomaniacs who want religious or political power would let them/us.

  29. 4 out of 5

    John Wiswell

    Knowing that we should approach any politician's autobiography with skepticism, I was still deeply moved by The Favored Daughter. Koofi was the daughter of a middle wife to a polygamous politician, and because girls were so unwanted, she was left outside to die in the sun. A neighbor took pity on her wailing and brought her inside, and seeing the burned child, her father swore to favor her in penance. She still has scars from the sun to this day, and will until she dies. As she writes in the pol Knowing that we should approach any politician's autobiography with skepticism, I was still deeply moved by The Favored Daughter. Koofi was the daughter of a middle wife to a polygamous politician, and because girls were so unwanted, she was left outside to die in the sun. A neighbor took pity on her wailing and brought her inside, and seeing the burned child, her father swore to favor her in penance. She still has scars from the sun to this day, and will until she dies. As she writes in the political sections on the book, she expects to die by assassination for daring to be a woman in Afghani politics. It was one of those 2014 books where I gave up on reading anything else until its conclusion. There are too many points of fascination for the American outsider. There are incredible anecdotes, like witnessing a taxi driver stop in the middle of a war zone to load the dead into his car, feeling the need to bury them more pressing than to save his own life. And Koofi speaks reverently of Sharia law in the way moderate USers speak of traditional values; it's important, but incomplete and wrong to force on all people, requiring respect but also questioning. She clearly loves his father, and was devastated when he was murdered by the Taliban, but cannot delude herself over how horribly he beat her mother. It is a time period she would like to forgive and cannot entirely - and indeed, is serving in politics to ensure is not resumed. The most challenging part of her narrative is the rise of the Taliban and her enthusiastic support for the U.S. invasion that toppled them. The Taliban brought her country into more ruin and despair than the war between fundamentalists and Soviets. They took her freedom of dress away, ruined her wedding, imprisoned her husband in a place that gave him the disease that killed him. Ultimately, even a pacifist-leaning person like myself cannot blame her for being happy that the U.S. changed what the country itself couldn't. Her arguments do not leave me comfortable with our military industrial complex, and yet they are a vital perspective, and one I would like to see her debate. Some bloggers have derided Koofi as being too privileged. Surely her own story cannot be the sole evidence by which you dismiss that claim, but still, from what happened on the day of her birth, and having to flee from shelter to shelter for years after the murder of her father, can you dismiss this woman who runs for national office in the face of fundamentalists that have tried to assassinate her in the streets? It is an insult to reason, let alone to this human being. If she came from money, you can no sooner dismiss her than half of your own political party. If there is a dissenting biography about Koofi, or simply a more objective one, I would gladly read it. She has lived a fascinating life and is doing bold work. You should know more about her.

  30. 4 out of 5

    James F

    This is the February read for the Utah State Library's book discussion. It is the autobiography of Fawzia Koofi, the deputy Speaker of the Afghan Parliament and a candidate for President of Afghanistan in the elections scheduled for 2014. Koofi was the youngest daughter of a politician and member of Parliament who was assassinated by the Mujahadeen during the war against the Soviet Union. The book is very intense in places; it describes the brutality of the Mujahadeen and their destructive conte This is the February read for the Utah State Library's book discussion. It is the autobiography of Fawzia Koofi, the deputy Speaker of the Afghan Parliament and a candidate for President of Afghanistan in the elections scheduled for 2014. Koofi was the youngest daughter of a politician and member of Parliament who was assassinated by the Mujahadeen during the war against the Soviet Union. The book is very intense in places; it describes the brutality of the Mujahadeen and their destructive contests for power as well as the repressive policies of the Taliban who replaced them. Koofi's story is very inspiring, in her struggle first to get an education and later just to survive in the Taliban-controlled areas, her brothers being killed by the Taliban, and her husband dying of tuberculosis contracted in the Taliban's prisons, although in some respects her upper-class background gave her an advantage over the average Afghan woman. That said, there are things in this book that just don't make sense; particularly her and her husband's decision to return to Taliban-controlled Kabul little over a week after having escaped at great risk to Pakistan. She attributes this to having been inspired by Rabbani (the leader of the Mujahadeen government-in-exile), but this made little sense to me as Rabbani was in Pakistan, not in Kabul. The politics of the book is also somewhat contradictory and lacking in credibility; although the Mujahadeen killed her father for being too conciliatory to the Russian backed government and she portrays them as brutal power-seekers, and she notes that "ironically" the Russians were the only faction in power which actually tried to construct rather than destroy, she considers the Mujahadeen struggle against the Soviets to be heroic because the Russians were "foreign invaders"; yet she supports the continuance of the American military presence in the country. She constantly praises one or another Mujahadeen faction, treating them positively as heroes rather than simply a "lesser evil" to the Taliban, which almost anyone would be; and her current politics consists of platitudes about eliminating corruption with no discussion whatsoever of the economic structure of the country. In short, she seems to be tailoring her remarks to gain American support for her political candidacy. One of the most striking omissions is that she does not mention any of the women's organizations in Afghanistan, such as RAWA (the Revolutionary Association of Afghan Women), which all of the other books I have taken out from the library consider as central. The end result of reading this is to inspire me to read other books on the subject to find out more of the political background and get a perspective from which to evaluate her book before the statewide discussion on the 25th.

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