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Outspoken by Sima Samar
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Outspoken by Sima Samar
Hardcover $26.00
Feb 27, 2024 | ISBN 9781039007079

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  • Feb 27, 2024 | ISBN 9781039007079

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“Sima Samar has written an extraordinary, gripping, and deeply moving book about the tragedy in Afghanistan. She helped restore the totally destroyed educational and medical system in the country, taught a new generation about human rights, including equal rights for women. Everything she touched in service of her country turned to gold, but only as long as it lasted. Her analysis of political events—as the US and Western powers first embraced Afghanistan and then abandoned it—is penetrating and heartbreaking. The question of who lost Afghanistan still reverberates in the corridors of power. Forever optimistic and forward-looking, Samar gives us answers on how to decipher the past and predict the future. Quite simply, Outspoken is a riveting book that will have you in tears.” —Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban

“Breaking boundaries, Dr Samar’s story is a powerful testament to the undaunted struggle for the rights of women and girls, and its pivotal role in the quest for change and justice, even in the most masculine societies on earth.” —Manal al-Sharif, bestselling author of Daring to Drive

“While so many champion the idea of universal human rights in Afghanistan, few have done more than Sima Samar to try to make them a reality. This book doesn’t just ask for dignity and a future for Afghans, especially Afghan women, it demands it: sometimes through logic and law but often through the passionate insistence of the narrator that she, an Afghan woman, thinks, feels and dreams too. Highly recommended.” —Ben McKelvey, bestselling author of The Commando, Mosul and Find Fix Finish

“Afghanistan, often referred to as ‘the graveyard of empires,’ has been described and explained at length by foreigners, usually men. This book provides an illuminating view of contemporary—I hesitate to say modern—Afghanistan, from a woman who weaves the personal and the political into the story of her successes and dreams, but who never gives in to despair. Sima Samar’s life and work stand in defiance to the dark rule of the Taliban, as a promise for a better future for all Afghans, even when the whole world seems to have abandoned them.”  —Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
“For two decades, Sima Samar was the conscience of democratic Afghanistan—a physician, human rights advocate, institution-builder, and justice-seeker. She embodied the ideals of her country’s revival after 2001 but paid a heavy price. Her story is essential and inspiring reading for all Americans, complicit as we are in a tragedy from which we must not turn away.”—Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars

Outspoken is a book of miracles, large and small. It’s a history book, an adventure story, a deeply personal memoir, and an inspiring work that propels you from your couch into action. Dr. Sima Samar gives bravery a face, from the night she saw her first husband taken away to be killed, to the many nights she risked her own life to save others. Illuminating the darkness in Afghanistan’s recent history, Outspoken provides astonishing insights and analysis. Honestly, I couldn’t put it down.” —Lisa LaFlamme, Journalists for Human Rights
“Afghanistan’s unsurpassably sad last half century ranks among the most dismal and disastrous episodes in all of human history. Sima Samar lived at the epicenter of this evil storm and has spent her life working tirelessly to improve the lives of her fellow Afghans, always holding on tenaciously to the hope for a better future. Outspoken is a book that is sobering, necessary—absolutely riveting.” —Paul Kennedy, former host of CBC’s Ideas
Outspoken invites the reader into the heart of a country, to witness its people’s resilience and their strength. Despite the many treacherous paths Afghans have traveled over more than forty years of war, Sima Samar shows us the beauty of the Afghan soul and the wonder of Afghanistan. The very definition of courage, Sima Samar has fought tirelessly, through personal pain and tragedy, facing down successive repressive regimes—and even a few allied to the West—in her quest for justice. She is a hero indeed.” —Kathy Gannon, author of I Is for Infidel, former Associated Press news director
“In Outspoken, Sima Samar relates her lifelong struggles against patriarchy: as an Afghan girl, a medical doctor, a refugee in Pakistan who built hospitals and schools, a government official, and a human rights defender. Her story trenchantly illuminates what we must all learn from interventions in Afghanistan and serves as a warning to the world at a time when women’s rights are under siege.” —Emma Bonino, former EU commissioner and former foreign minister of Italy

Outspoken is a must read for every woman—indeed for every person—who supports equality and human rights, especially for women and girls. Dr. Samar’s life is an inspiration; she speaks truth to power and has repeatedly risked her life for doing so. Feminists worldwide can and must learn from her experiences.” —Eleanor Smeal, president, Feminist Majority Foundation and publisher, Ms. Magazine

“Illuminating. . . . Sima Samar relates the embattled history of Afghanistan with lucid facts personalized with deeply felt impressions about her homeland’s perpetual unrest. The author opens readers’ eyes to the harsh realities of life for Afghan women. . . . Vital. . . . Samar’s lifelong legacy of resistance and resilience is palpably present in this memorable self-portrait.” Kirkus Reviews

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