PDF/EPUB Fawzia Koofi ß ß The Favored Daughter Epub Ç The Favored PDF \

As America prepares to draw down its forces in Afghanistan this story of survival and hope from a voice of the country's most oppressed group could not be timely Born to the second of her father's seven wives in rural Afghanistan Fawzia Koofi's mother—who had hoped for a son—left her to die in the sun after birth But despite a childhood of abuse and deprivation in a notoriously sexist society she rose above her fate to become the first female Speaker of Parliament Along the way she faced the murders of her father brother and husband and numerous attempts on her life 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 all their countrywomen This elouent memoir pleads for the world to recognize the politically devastating conseuences if a frustrated American military relinuishes the country to the Taliban undoing all the fragile progress of recent years


10 thoughts on “The Favored Daughter

  1. says:

    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 amazing because after she was born she was abandoned and left to die in the hot sun because her parents didn't want any girls Her mother eventually took pity and saved her and the two shared a close bond after thatFawzia 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 countryFawzia 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 womanThe Taliban also had strict rules for how women should dress no makeup no nail polish and they must wear the full bura in public However the bura couldn't be white because that was the color of the Taliban flag Fawzia witnessed the beating of women who weren't wearing buras and also women who wore buras that were white which in some parts of the country was the common color As she said it was madnessAfter 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 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 changedEven 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 AfghanistanDear 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 worldI highly recommend this book


  2. says:

    A marvellous biography by one of Afghanistan's foremost women politiciansNot 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 911 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 historyEven 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 interestingview spoiler Unlike the boys the girls' birthdays were never celebrated and none of my sisters went to schoolI 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 immediatelyKoofi'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 himMy 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 valuesHe was an old fashioned politician one who believed in the nobility of public service and helping the poorThis 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 downtroddenThings 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


  3. says:

    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 couldThis book should be reuired 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 war to become Afghanistan's first deputy speaker of Parliament And she's not even 40 years old yetKoofi'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 elouent 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 itFor a brief introduction to her check out her interview


  4. says:

    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 conuer 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 scenesTruly 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 about the Afghanistan culture than the American mediaThis is definitely a must read


  5. says:

    Following her interview with Jon Stewart I ordered the book on I got it yesterday eveningjust finished reading it an hour agothis 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 womento 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. says:

    Review written for 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 2005The 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 buras 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


  7. says:

    This book left a lot of unanswered uestions 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 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 herOverall 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


  8. says:

    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 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 eually 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


  9. says:

    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 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 areFantastic book Thank you Jon Stewart for making me get it


  10. says:

    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