Book Review : Raising My Voice by Malalai Joya (2009)

by the gorgeous Palah Chingu


“I don’t fear death; I fear remaining silent in the face of injustice. I am young and I want to live. But I say to those who would eliminate my voice: I am ready, wherever and whenever you might strike. You can cut down the flower, but nothing can stop the coming of the spring.” ― Malalai Joya, Raising My Voice

I got this book at the fair price near the Chowrasta market, Penang. How I love that place because they sold books in a very reasonable price. However, since I read this book, I have deep admiration towards Malala Joya’s courage and boldness for speaking what is on her mind. She’s even willing to risk her life for championing women rights in Afghanistan. She is what I called the true figure of Afghanistan Heroine. It is truly lucky that she had educated father. Born into the war torn country, having an educated father is a blessing to her. She has not been denied her right to education like majority of Afghanistan girls had. Malalai Joya started being an activist at the young age.  Her family supported her dreams and understands that what Joya did is a proof of how much she loves her country. Even in Taliban Years at Afghanistan, She constantly travels to teach young girls so that they can read and continually have access to education. In this book, Joya does not try to sugarcoat or hide anything on what happened in Afghanistan. She told and exposed everything from the withdrawal of US force from Afghanistan, to the period when Hamid Karzai is appointed as a President and until now, where the majority of government’s minister and members of Parliament are part of warlords and religious extremists.

My Rating: 5/5
My Rating: 5/5

She often travel to overseas to speak about the plight and dilemma of her peoples and her country. She often invited to the talks and events to share her experience and to make her message came across clearly especially to other countries political leader. She talked about how comfort she is at the other country but she still thinking about her country. How many people spent times in the darkness due to no access of electricity and how many people fell sick because of lack of access on clean water. Her true love towards her country is reflected upon that. I know that no even once she mentioned she wanted to move to another country despite death threat made against her is increasing. She managed to escape so many times and would not give up easily.

It is truly a real eye opening story to me. A very young girl who dared to raise her voice in the Afghanistan’s Parliament criticizes majority of MPs who did not give a shit about people. They do not care about improving the rate of literacy, discarding the poverty and let alone in championing women rights and freedom. When Joya spoke boldly, she’s being scorned not by the fellow male MPs, but also by female MPs who Joya believes is just for display so that the world believes that the current government is on the path of instilling Democracy. She was banned for so many times from parliament due to so many complaints have been made against her.


This is truly amazing book. Amazing because you can feel how honest Malalai Joya pours her feelings into the book. Amazing because how insightful she wrote this book based on the aspect of war, Afghanistan people, Democracy and her not yet achieved dreams and hopes.