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Malalai

Malalai

“Even if I am only one person in the parliament, I will expose those enemies, those warlords, who are against women’s rights, human rights, peace, security and democracy. They tried to kill me, but they didn’t succeed. …They might destroy a thousand flowers, but they will never stop the spring.” Read More

About Malalai

"I was born in Farah province and when the war period came, my family and thousands of other Afghans became refugees to the different countries, neighbor countries. First when I was a child we went to Iran and after that when I became seven years old we went to Pakistan with my other family. There we lived most times in refugee camps in different cities in Pakistan. I finished school there. When I was in high school in 8th class, in the morning I was a student but in the evenings I was a teacher. When I finished school (I was 19) my family came with me to Herat (in Afghanistan) because we had economic problems. I became an activist for OPAC. (Organization for Promoting Afghan Woman’s Capabilities) This was during the domination of Taliban. Mostly, we had education activities for girls and women. They were underground. After two years, I went with my family on behalf of OPAC to Farah province. There I had responsibility for 3 provinces. Herat, Farah and Nimroz. We had education and health activities. For example in Herat and Farah, we had a clinic which name is Harmon Clinic where we give medicine every day for 50 patients, but now because of economic problems we only see 25 people or 30 patients every day. Also we have literacy courses for girls and women and computer courses for young generation. Also we had an orphanage there, but now it is about one year and a few months that we do not have the orphanage. We closed because of the lack of money because of the lack of donors." "But why did I decide to become a member of Parliament? Many people came to my office and they requested me to be a delegate, a candidate. So I decided to be a candidate. And I thought to myself, that even if I am one person in the parliament it will be better and if I saw that these enemies [of Democracy] find their way into the parliament I should expose them. This was the reason that I accept." Can you tell about that first day in Parliament when you spoke out against those warlords? "Afghanistan has some big warlords and local warlords in power and so how can we be hopeful that we should have democratic parliament? We saw how these warlords found their way into the parliament by using cheatings, and by using millions of dollars they had from foreign support." "Especially after two years after my speech in Loya Jerga, [the Parliament] my life has been completely changed. I have received lots of threats of death in many places I go and that is why I have to wear a burka." Were you scared? Afraid? "Of course I didn’t afraid because of this that I would be died. I’m young and I want to be alive. But everyone in their lives is afraid from something, for example I am afraid from this that I do not want in this age to die because I want to help my people more and more because I have the energy. It means I will never be afraid because of these goals, ideas and hope I have. …They killed lots of freedom-loving people in our country. I want to say that they can destroy a thousand flowers, but they can never stop the spring." "…The warlords that now we have in power, did their test before Taliban. [Fought against Afghans during the civil war] Our people are calling them brothers of Taliban but physically, they changed. They learned how to wear suits and ties and how to talk about democracy, woman’s rights and like this, but they did lots of crimes against women’s rights, against human rights in our country, but they changed just their faces." "And just now they have a democratic face, but they never believed in democracy. Unfortunately the U.S. and U.S. allies replaced the Taliban with the Northern Alliance. Why? With these criminals and warlords we can not bring peace and democracy. They have lots of guns. Even now they have support of neighbor countries which have bloody hands in the history of Afghanistan. [Pakistan?] Yes, and Iran. Till now some agents of them are in here in Afghanistan and unfortunately some are Afghans. And they use them." If you could talk with President Bush, what would you say to him? "I would tell him to stop the support of criminals and of tested warlords in Afghanistan. They don’t believe in democracy.  Now our people are suspicious of this kind of democracy and the war on terrorism that you are bringing in Afghanistan." « back to Portraits & Stories list