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Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan: The Martyr Who Founded RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan

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The unforgettable story of how one woman dared to start a revolution. Meena founded RAWA in 1977 as a twenty-year-old Kabul University student. She was assassinated in 1987 at age thirty but lives on in the hearts of all progressive Muslim women. Her voice, speaking for freedom, has never been silenced. The compelling story of Meena's struggle for democracy and women's rig The unforgettable story of how one woman dared to start a revolution. Meena founded RAWA in 1977 as a twenty-year-old Kabul University student. She was assassinated in 1987 at age thirty but lives on in the hearts of all progressive Muslim women. Her voice, speaking for freedom, has never been silenced. The compelling story of Meena's struggle for democracy and women's rights in Afghanistan will inspire young women the world over.


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The unforgettable story of how one woman dared to start a revolution. Meena founded RAWA in 1977 as a twenty-year-old Kabul University student. She was assassinated in 1987 at age thirty but lives on in the hearts of all progressive Muslim women. Her voice, speaking for freedom, has never been silenced. The compelling story of Meena's struggle for democracy and women's rig The unforgettable story of how one woman dared to start a revolution. Meena founded RAWA in 1977 as a twenty-year-old Kabul University student. She was assassinated in 1987 at age thirty but lives on in the hearts of all progressive Muslim women. Her voice, speaking for freedom, has never been silenced. The compelling story of Meena's struggle for democracy and women's rights in Afghanistan will inspire young women the world over.

30 review for Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan: The Martyr Who Founded RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hina

    Anti-islam. Anti-Pakistan. And to some extent even anti-Afghan culture. I would've been interested in Meena's story if the author was not so biased and incorrect in her "facts". Avoid. Anti-islam. Anti-Pakistan. And to some extent even anti-Afghan culture. I would've been interested in Meena's story if the author was not so biased and incorrect in her "facts". Avoid.

  2. 4 out of 5

    *•.♥.•* Fleur Rebelle *•.♥.•*

    Madame Nooria showed the girls statistics that proved Afghanistan was one of the very few nations on earth where women lived shorter lives than men. This was because boys and men were often fed before girls and women. When food was scarce, that could mean malnutrition or even starvation for women.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    "Meena" falls into the unfortunate category of nonfiction book that tells a fantastic, riveting story but suffers from poor writing. Meena seems to have been an inspiring woman with an amazing story, and once I was drawn into her biography I devoured it quickly. As a literary work, though, Chavis doesn't do the story any favors; the book reads like a ten-year-old's book report and Chavis routinely breaks the narrative to explain simple concepts. I wasn't sure, reading this, what was going on: wa "Meena" falls into the unfortunate category of nonfiction book that tells a fantastic, riveting story but suffers from poor writing. Meena seems to have been an inspiring woman with an amazing story, and once I was drawn into her biography I devoured it quickly. As a literary work, though, Chavis doesn't do the story any favors; the book reads like a ten-year-old's book report and Chavis routinely breaks the narrative to explain simple concepts. I wasn't sure, reading this, what was going on: was she writing for a younger audience (like, jr. high young)? Were some of these concepts exotic when the book was written 6 years ago? Was she just being patronizing, or did she have reason to believe that we were culturally clueless? Whatever the reason, I didn't require any of the following defined or explained: pomegranates, naan, Jack London, Cassandra, lycées... Chavis's sentences are choppy and the writing is stilted and overly formal. None of this, however, should stop anyone from reading "Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan." The story of someone fighting for women's rights under turmoil and the authoritarian regimes that have plagued Afghanistan for decades is well worth enduring some stilted writing..and 50 pages into it I mostly forgot about how it was written and became immersed in the events of Meena's life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    James F

    An inspiring biography of Meena, written shortly after the history by Brodsky, which it seems to be partly based on, although it has other information. This is written in a simpler, less academic style; although for adults, it would not be out of place in a high school library or Young Adult collection. The author was apparently not well-informed about Afghanistan before Sept. 11, and the book somewhat reflects a US (though not a US government) perspective, in that the US role in supporting the An inspiring biography of Meena, written shortly after the history by Brodsky, which it seems to be partly based on, although it has other information. This is written in a simpler, less academic style; although for adults, it would not be out of place in a high school library or Young Adult collection. The author was apparently not well-informed about Afghanistan before Sept. 11, and the book somewhat reflects a US (though not a US government) perspective, in that the US role in supporting the jehadi is mentioned but not especially emphasized, and the crimes of the Soviet occupation are dealt with more fully than those of the jehadi (although since Meena was killed before the Soviet pullout, this is somewhat understandable). It's still a good book, but I think it's one I would recommend mainly to high school students, and the Brodsky book to adults.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Hruby

    Deceptively simple because it has a powerful impact. A book of global importance, but also very personal. Poignent, moving, inspiring, heroic. Everyone needs to read this book--we need to know about the poor Afghan people and especially the women's struggles. The Kite Runner was good, but this makes their plight personal. Deceptively simple because it has a powerful impact. A book of global importance, but also very personal. Poignent, moving, inspiring, heroic. Everyone needs to read this book--we need to know about the poor Afghan people and especially the women's struggles. The Kite Runner was good, but this makes their plight personal.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Danica Northend

    This is one of the highlighted read of 2007. The book was well written and aimed to portray the real story of a real woman, leaving any imposed political agenda out of the biography. MEENA's agenda, however, is consistent and apparent throughout her extraordinary life. The book was enlightening, inspiring, and best of all, very true. This is one of the highlighted read of 2007. The book was well written and aimed to portray the real story of a real woman, leaving any imposed political agenda out of the biography. MEENA's agenda, however, is consistent and apparent throughout her extraordinary life. The book was enlightening, inspiring, and best of all, very true.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Constance Chevalier

    I learned so much about the area, the people and the history by reading this biography.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    I started sort of ho-hum on this as I found it a bit too earnest for my taste. There were, at first, a bit too many instances of, "and at that moment, at 15, Meena was deciding too....." I sort of shut down reading a biography when the biography takes those kinds of careless liberties. That said, it's a good story. A good companion to Charlie Wilson's War (and it really brings to light the problems with having the American support via Pakistan go to the more extremist mujaheddin, touche on in Ch I started sort of ho-hum on this as I found it a bit too earnest for my taste. There were, at first, a bit too many instances of, "and at that moment, at 15, Meena was deciding too....." I sort of shut down reading a biography when the biography takes those kinds of careless liberties. That said, it's a good story. A good companion to Charlie Wilson's War (and it really brings to light the problems with having the American support via Pakistan go to the more extremist mujaheddin, touche on in Charlie Wilson's War, but covered in a more first-person account here). I know it's hard to be critical of someone who was a true martyr but, at times, Meena was really acting more pathological than brave (not letting her daughter have a doll? working till she dropped while pregnant? these aren't things to necessarily celebrate in her character). In any case, these are great women doing great work. After finishing I looked them up online to see what had become of them, as it sounds like their work is far from over, and the need for them is really at its greatest.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Keely Hyslop

    I almost wanted to give the book 5 stars because I was so impressed with the the breadth of research the author did to present a comprehensive life history of an important, but largely unknown historical figure. Trouble is the writing style was a bit overly sentimental in places and the beginning was stilted with far too much time spent on Meena's near-fatal childhood illness. That said once the book gets going it doesn't stop. It continually boggles the mind the level of courage shown by not on I almost wanted to give the book 5 stars because I was so impressed with the the breadth of research the author did to present a comprehensive life history of an important, but largely unknown historical figure. Trouble is the writing style was a bit overly sentimental in places and the beginning was stilted with far too much time spent on Meena's near-fatal childhood illness. That said once the book gets going it doesn't stop. It continually boggles the mind the level of courage shown by not only Meena, but all the women of RAWA in fighting first the Soviet puppet government that took power and imprisoned, tortured, and killed intellectuals and dissenters; and then the American-supported Islamic fundamentalist regime that brutally repressed all the women and religious minorities in the region. This is a story that needed telling and it is right and just that the proceeds from the book should go to RAWA's modern incarnation.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Meena is another great biography that helped me learn about the 20th century history of Afghanistan and gave me a model of another amazing person who lived and died for what she believed in. I was so happy to read the story of an amazing woman as there are few female models whose stories are known to inspire women, but also men. As a teacher, Meena's life provides many lessons I can pass on to my students - challenging their ideas about gender, seeing history through the life of one individual a Meena is another great biography that helped me learn about the 20th century history of Afghanistan and gave me a model of another amazing person who lived and died for what she believed in. I was so happy to read the story of an amazing woman as there are few female models whose stories are known to inspire women, but also men. As a teacher, Meena's life provides many lessons I can pass on to my students - challenging their ideas about gender, seeing history through the life of one individual and how she chose to respond to it, and the example of a purposeful life. I strongly recommend Meena to anyone who wants to learn more about Afghanistan, RAWA, or how individuals and organizations can grow to make lasting impacts in the world.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rohit Harip

    MEENA - HEROINE OF AFGANISTAN A story of afgan girl who struggled from her school days to saught the freedom formely from USSR and later from Taliban. Her fight was against the fundamenalist , against the male chauvinist, against the misinterpreted practises of islam , against the injustice. she was indeed a courageous woman who is now inspiration for all those millions women who are still fighting for their fundamental rights. she paid the price of her life for this. this book is about the RAWA(r MEENA - HEROINE OF AFGANISTAN A story of afgan girl who struggled from her school days to saught the freedom formely from USSR and later from Taliban. Her fight was against the fundamenalist , against the male chauvinist, against the misinterpreted practises of islam , against the injustice. she was indeed a courageous woman who is now inspiration for all those millions women who are still fighting for their fundamental rights. she paid the price of her life for this. this book is about the RAWA(revolutionary association of the women of afganistan) which is working for women rights and empowernment in afganistan. once again i have realised that i am leaving in heavinly country. Respect our Country respect our democracy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amina

    The only downside, if you can call it that is how short it is. Understandably it is hard to find any concrete paperwork on Menna such as personal diaries etc as such items were too risky to keep around under the Taliban. The author however with such restrictive resources and only second-hand accounts from family and friends does a great job in telling Meena's story. It is truly heartbreaking but courageous and inspiring that at such a young age Meena influenced a generation of Afghan girls and w The only downside, if you can call it that is how short it is. Understandably it is hard to find any concrete paperwork on Menna such as personal diaries etc as such items were too risky to keep around under the Taliban. The author however with such restrictive resources and only second-hand accounts from family and friends does a great job in telling Meena's story. It is truly heartbreaking but courageous and inspiring that at such a young age Meena influenced a generation of Afghan girls and women and still does today with her work. www.rawa.org Thank you for sharing her story with us.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is a great book with an intriguing story about an amazing woman. It is, however, quite lacking in style. It's written in a very elemntary manner. The author repeats herself often and jumps around from page to page. But if you can ignore the fact that it's not very well written, it's still a great book. This is a great book with an intriguing story about an amazing woman. It is, however, quite lacking in style. It's written in a very elemntary manner. The author repeats herself often and jumps around from page to page. But if you can ignore the fact that it's not very well written, it's still a great book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    What an incredible book about such an amazing woman! The story of Meena and her life and formation of the feminist group, RAWA, shows that we all should believe in equal freedom, democracy and the fact that everyone should be given a chance.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stacie

    I didn't actually finish this book. I got about halfway through and couldn't finish (and it's not a very long book). I really wanted to know more about Meena and her life but the writing of this is sooo terribly dull. I didn't actually finish this book. I got about halfway through and couldn't finish (and it's not a very long book). I really wanted to know more about Meena and her life but the writing of this is sooo terribly dull.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Salal Amjad

    one of my favourite book.....MEENA is the true heroine of Afghanistan....and the best thing about this book is that it keep on telling you about other important people and history like malalai of maiwand.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alisa

    Easy to read and gives a really intimate picture of life in Afghanistan.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    A very inspiring book!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    It's always a little disappointing to read a book that has potential to be better and isn't. Meena's story is amazing, and yet the writing is "dumbed down." It's always a little disappointing to read a book that has potential to be better and isn't. Meena's story is amazing, and yet the writing is "dumbed down."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heathspace

    A must read! truly touching.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kased11218

    GREAT!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Ess

    Read it because the story of these women needs to be heard, and don't expect a literary masterpiece. (Three stars only because the writing leaves much to be desired.) Read it because the story of these women needs to be heard, and don't expect a literary masterpiece. (Three stars only because the writing leaves much to be desired.)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jen Roe

    I thought this book was great

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dk

    A story of courage and profound faithfulness to a calling to serve her generation and those who now follow. An important read for our day.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Peg

    Met the author at a party.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Njamieson

    F

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wisteria Leigh

    A fighter and determined crusader for women's rights. An exceptional brave leader with an unstoppable will to accomplish great change. Terrific biography. A fighter and determined crusader for women's rights. An exceptional brave leader with an unstoppable will to accomplish great change. Terrific biography.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marco

    It's an amazing story about Meena and about fearless women fighting for freedom and rights for women in one of the most obscure, backword country in the world, Afghanistan. If there is still hope there, than it is really little, unfortunately. It's an amazing story about Meena and about fearless women fighting for freedom and rights for women in one of the most obscure, backword country in the world, Afghanistan. If there is still hope there, than it is really little, unfortunately.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Martin Due

    An inspiring book with an interesting and fascinating story but unfortunately so poorly written. It was ok which is the 2 stars. It could be 3 because of the facts but only 2 because for a non-fiction book, it was too biased and sentimental.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shreya Karania

    Meena is a true inspiration, the book although could have been written in a much better style.

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