Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A-Z Wednesday: Zoya's Story: An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom by John Follain and Rita Cristofari

Zoya's Story: An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom

John Follain and Rita Cristofari

ISBN: 0060097833
ISBN-13: 9780060097837

HarperCollins Publishers

Zoya’s Story, vividly brings to life the realities of growing up in a Muslim culture, the terror of living in a perpetual war zone, the pain of losing those she has loved, the horrors of a woman’s life under the Taliban, and the discovered healing and transformation that lead her on a path of resistance.

Although she is only twenty-three, Zoya (not her real name) has seen and suffered more tragedy and terror than most people experience in a lifetime. Born in a land ravaged by war, she loses her parents when Muslim fundamentalists kill them. Devastated, she escapes from Kabul with her grandmother and starts a new life in exile in Pakistan. She joins the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), an organization that challenges the crushing statutes of the Taliban government, and she takes destiny into her own hands, joining a hazardous, secret war to save her nation.

Fear of violence had become a part of the fabric of life, a day-to-day reality, whether from male fanatics among her people, the invading Russian soldiers, or, soon-to-be, American bombs and military men. In her school, from the age of fourteen, Zoya learns the meaning of democracy, human rights and feminism from the teachers of the school in Pakistan.

Soroya, one of her teachers taught her that "politics was not about long discussions among . . . politicians; it was about talking to poor, ignorant, and backward people and showing them that they had a future."

Zoya finds her strength through RAWA, and has since been a dedicated underground activist, based in Pakistan. She has been back in Kabul several times and witnessed the devastation caused by the Taliban, including a "cutting of hands," the punishment for stealing, held at enforced mass gatherings at the former soccer stadium..

John Follain and Rita Cristofari, tracked Zoya down to write her story for us. They met her in secret fully well knowing her life is still in danger.

Zoya says at the end of her story, "If peace returns to my country I would like to go back and walk the destroyed streets of Kabul, the sun shining not on a burqa but on my face. I would think not of the past but of the Future."

Despite her suffering, she has a positive vision for her country. That is what makes this book very interesting. A must read book.

9 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

It looks like you are finished with the alphabet! What comes next?

Nise' said...

Sounds like an intense read.

Diane said...

this sounds like a wonderful story.

Kristen said...

This definitely sounds like a must read.

Michelle said...

I need to break into more Middle Eastern fiction/non-fiction. Sounds like this one might be just the trick. Thanks for the review!

Beth said...

This sounds like a great story!

Irene said...

I'm so interested in the lives of women in other cultures, thank you for posting this.

Vicki said...

I've seen this book many times and thought about reading it!

Thanks for playing!

Cym Lowell said...

Thanks for this review. I am starting to read more Middle Eastern. I will look into this...

Glad to have you at the party!
-CYM