Voice of Rebellion: How Mozhdah Jamalzadah Brought Hope to Afghanistan

Voice of Rebellion: How Mozhdah Jamalzadah Brought Hope to Afghanistan

by Roberta Staley


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The first-ever biography of Mozhdah Jamalzadah: refugee, pop singer, and champion of women’s rights.

Many have tried to silence her, but Mozhdah Jamalzadah remains the most powerful female voice of her generation in Afghanistan, boldly speaking out about women’s rights. Voice of Rebellion charts her incredible journey, including arriving in Canada as a child refugee, setting her father’s protest poem to music (and making it a #1 hit), performing that song for Michelle and Barack Obama, and, finally, being invited to host her own show in Afghanistan. The Mozhdah Show earned her the nickname “The Oprah of Afghanistan” and tackled taboo subjects like divorce and domestic violence for the first time in the country’s history. But even as her words resonated with women and families, Mozhdah received angry death threats—some of them serious—and was eventually advised to return to Canada.

Traversing Central Asia and North America, Voice of Rebellion profiles a devoted singer and activist who continues to fight for change, even from afar.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771644136
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication date: 10/22/2019
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Roberta Staley is a magazine editor, writer, and documentary filmmaker. She has reported from Afghanistan, El Salvador, Haiti, Cambodia, Israel, and more countries around the world. Her award-winning documentary, Mightier Than the Sword, reveals how Afghan women in media are working to overcome a culture of silence and invisibility.

Table of Contents

Prologue ix

Part 1 Seeking Asylum 1989-1991

Chapter 1 Betrayal 3

Chapter 2 Escape from Kabul 16

Chapter 3 The Road to Terai Mangal 37

Chapter 4 A Waiting Game 51

Part 2 The Melting Pot 1991-2009

Chapter 5 Schoolyard Lessons 69

Chapter 6 Taliban Nightmares 85

Chapter 7 Inspired by Oprah 100

Chapter 8 The Power of Song 113

Part 3 The Mozhdah Show 2009-2011

Chapter 9 Nasrin's Bold Move 135

Chapter 10 An Explosive Welcome 152

Chapter 11 The Oprah of Afghanistan 164

Chapter 12 Making Television History 182

Chapter 13 Kafir 199

Part 4 A Woman's Power 2011-2019

Chapter 14 A Bitter Farewell 223

Chapter 15 Highs and Lows 243

Chapter 16 A Dance in the Dark 261

Chapter 17 A Mother's Burka 273

Acknowledgments 281

References 283

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Refugee stories are too seldom hopeful. But Voice of Rebellion, the story of one of Afghanistan’s most remarkable women, is an inspiration—a gripping tale of triumph and of breaking barriers."
—Melissa Fleming, chief spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and author of A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea

“Women can see themselves in the heroine of this story, Mozhdah, and find true inspiration from her strength and courage to return to Afghanistan. This book cries out with passion to follow your true calling despite overwhelming obstacles.”
—Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay, human rights activist

"A heartbreaking and empowering tale of self-discovery, Voice of Rebellion offers chilling insights into the plight of refugees and invokes incredible empathy for those adjusting to life in a new country. Mozhdah's journey from trying to fit in to embracing her identity and speaking up against injustice is something all can relate to, while her rebellious courage to drive change is awe-inspiring. I found it difficult to put this book down!"
—Samra Zafar, bestselling author of A Good Wife

“Voice of Rebellion is a book that should be read for a better understanding of the current war in Afghanistan, the destruction it has ravished, and how one voice can begin to make changes despite all the obstacles which may lie in the path ahead.”
—The Girly Book Club

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