Voice of Rebellion by Roberta Staley (Review by Amanda Gavigan)

2 min read

Star Rating: 4.5 stars

Roberta Staley is the voice behind Mozhdah Jamalzadah’s authorized biography and her journey as a child fleeing Afghanistan to becoming the voice crying for peace and women’s rights within Afghanistan. Staley writes Mozhdah’s journey unbiasedly and draws the reader in to find out more about this incredible woman and story; however Staley’s admiration and respect is evident for Mozhdah as her story unfolds.

Switching narratives between Mozhdah, and her parents Nazrin, and Bashir Jamalzadah. Staley begins with the Jamalzadah’s journey fleeing Afghanistan, ravaged by war and their escape to Pakistan leading to safety within Canada. We see Mozhdah beginning life in this new foreign place where she encounters racism, and change of cultures. As they begin to settle into this new way of life, the Jamalzadah family move to Vancouver following other opportunities . Despite welcoming Canada as her new home Mozhdah is still drawn to her native country often finding ways to incorporate it into her new life.

Mozhdah begins her music career with the support and assistance of both her parents, as her manager and song writer. Mozhdah’s voice and lyrics take off bringing her back to her native country. Once in Afghanistan in front of the screen, Mozhdah is able to bring a dream to life, becoming the “Oprah” of Afghanistan. In her new role she begins to tackle some of the more delicate yet difficult issues with Afghan culture such as abuse within the family home, divorce, and marriage. Despite the good from the light shed on these issues, there is still a lot of backlash which go as far as threatening her life. Mozhdah is forced to move back to Canada to safety where she continues to circle back to ways that she can help the people of Afghanistan.

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.

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