Please note that we are currently developing a list of educational resources and posting new ones weekly. If you have any resources on women’s lives in Afghanistan and would like to share them with us, please use the contact page on this website.
David Rohde and Kristen Mulvihill (2010) tell their alternating stories of David’s kidnapping by the Taliban, which lasted 7 months. And, in doing so they reveal much more than the difficult to imagine the situation this event created for the newly wed couple, their families, friends, and colleagues. David and Kristen also take their readers through the twists and turns of the Afghan and Pakistan tribal relationships along with the deprivation and disenfranchisement that 30 years of war, occupation, and international politics of exploitation have wrought on these people. Afghan women and Pakistani women are noticeably absent from David’s accounts as just one burqa-enclosed woman crosses his path ~ literally ~ as he is taken on a transport during captivity. At the same time, Kristen allows us to travel the twists and turns of governmental and non governmental players in the side industry of the Afghan war: kidnapping.
One statement by David stands out for us at Help Women Heal, Inc.
“Churchill was wrong. All Pashtuns are not inherently violent. They are deeply disenfranchised. The biggest difference between the Pashtuns who kidnapped me and the Pashtuns who saved my life is education” (pp. 305-306).
HWH knows this is an important read for all U.S. taxpayers ~ especially students. When we are asked why we aren’t raising $$$ for U.S. students, we explain, “HWH isn’t charity; it is justice.” A Rope and a Prayer can help explain why we want U.S. taxpayers to partner with us ~ to become informed and to accept this opportunity to spread some healing and hope for generations of Afghan women and their children!
by Malalai Joya (2009)
Follows the campaign of a woman running in Afghanistan’s first democratic parliament election in more than 30 years. 27 year-old Malalai Joya is one of the country’s most famous (and controversial) women since 2003 when she challenged the power of warlords in national politics. Her direct confrontation of governmental corruption and oppression of women has forced to live in hiding and surrounded by armed guards. As a result, Joya conducts her parliamentary campaign in the remote desert province of Farah, the heart of poverty in Afghanistan. Despite death threats and assassination attempts, Joya continues to meet with clan leaders, opium kings, and adolescent girls pressured to marry older men.
by Ahmed Rashid (2000/2010)
Rashid has had unique access to Taliban leaders over the course of years of investigative reporting in Afghanistan. Rashid’s book book became the critical resource for policymakers, soldiers, reporters, and everyone who needed to understand the nature, history, origins, and leaders of the Taliban. In the recently updated version, Rashid’s new chapter covering the events of the past decade presents with incredible clarity a big-picture view of today’s Taliban, explaining in astonishing detail how and why it has gained strength and spread throughout the region. Drawing on his extensive and deep knowledge of politics, military affairs, economic issues, extremist groups, and individual leaders throughout Pakistan, Afghanistan, and all of Central Asia, Rashid shows how policy decisions have shaped realities on the ground, profoundly affecting the lives of civilians as well as the course of the war. He explains many missteps, unintended consequences, and lost opportunities of the last ten years in Afghanistan, and he identifies steps both US and local Muslim leaders must take in order to stem the growth of Islamic extremism and improve chances for stability in the region.
This incredibly brave journalist traveled into the war zone known as the country Afghanistan. She was accompanied by Taliban leaders, Northern Alliance leaders, and other men who guided her safely through Afghanistan. She entered the hearts and minds of the people hiding behind closed doors and under veils, people whose culture, literacy, and sense of well being was torn away from them.
Saira Shah accounts her personal travels to Afghanistan, the birthplace of her father and home of her anscestorial line, which traces back to the mystic and warlord Jan Fishan Khan. She travels both as a journalist with Taliban accompaniment and under-burqa with women from RAWA (Revolutionary Association of Women from Afghanistan). It is a story that will draw you in to the lives hidden beneath the veil and resonate with the hopes and dreams of your own hearts.
by John Follain and Rita Cristofari (2002)
Though she is only twenty-three, Zoya has witnessed and endured more tragedy and terror than most people experience in a lifetime. She was orphaned at a young age when Muslim fundamentalists murdered her parents. Devestated, she fled Afghanistan with her grandmother into Pakistan and started a new life challenging the crushing edicts of the Taliban government. Direct and unsentimental, this intelligent account absorbs the reader into her life and culture. the terror of living in a perpetual war zone and being under a fundamentalist Muslim government.