My Favored Daughter, my favorite book of 2013


The best book I read in 2013 was The Favored Daughter: One Woman’s Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future.  This book is about how Fawzia Koofi, a woman in conservative Afghanistan who not only survived invasions, civil wars, and the many attempts on her life but would eventually become the first female Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament for her country.

As an American I find it important to try and understand even just a little about why my brothers and sisters are risking their lives in foreign places.  I have read other books such as I am Malala, the amazing story of Malala Yousafzai a girl who wants education for women in Pakistan.  This amazing little girl spoke up for a simple basic right to education and was shot in the head for it.  Instead of quieting her voice they made it louder and stronger than ever.

I am Malala was a great book and I recommend this book to anyone that wants to see Pakistan through the eyes of an amazing little girl.  I just wished Malala had even more stories about her in the book because she was so interesting.  Understandable though for such a young girl who has already accomplished more than I ever will in my entire life especially since her story I believe has just begun and we will be hearing even more great things from her.

What was so amazing about Fawzia Koofi story though was the struggles that she faced all through her life.  From the moment to she was born she nearly died since her mother almost didn’t have the heart to raise another daughter in a society that treated women so badly.  Growing up she had to deal with numerous civil wars and invasions it is amazing that she actually survived all these horrible events.

Here is a women that has been through so much suffering and hardship but still believed in hope and helping others.  Even now as she fights for the rights of her fellow citizens she is targeted by insurgents and terrorists.  After growing up and barely escaping death time after time, she is still risking her life to help her country.

It was so intriguing to see Afghanistan through not only the eyes of a local but the eyes of a women so amazing.  This book taught me so much about a country that pre 9/11 I would say most Americans did not even know much about.  Granted Afghanistan is a complicated place and majority of Americans including myself will never fully understand it but still Fawzia still gave such great basic and interesting understanding of this country.

What is so humbling about Fawzia she did this all in a society that doesn't treat women fairly.  This is a society and culture that believes in marriages as a way to gain political influence or improve the lives of family.  Even with that disadvantage she believed in herself and worked hard everyday helping others.

This was an amazing book that looks at the culture and history of Afghanistan through her eyes and tells a story of a women that would eventually become a high ranking political official for her country.  I recommend this book to anyone that wants to understand Afghanistan a little better and to learn about a woman's inspirational rise and drive to help others.

With that I will leave a simple lighthearted interview she gave on The Daily Show and I liked from her book.

“Who win the world would not want to vote if it was safe to do so and they were given the opportunity?”

- Fawzia Koofi