Prominent Afghan feminist visits Willamette University

Malalai Joya, a prominent Afghan feminist and war critic, will visit Willamette University on April 3 to speak about the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan and its impact on the country's people. Her lecture is at 7 p.m. in Smith Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

Joya, now 32, was elected to Afghanistan's parliament in 2005. She was later suspended from the parliament, assaulted and threatened with death after publicly describing other members as war criminals. She is an outspoken critic of the Hamid Karzai administration and its western supporters.

Joya was almost unable to come to the U.S. for her speaking tour, including her visit to Willamette, because her visa application was initially denied by the State Department. People who wanted to hear her speak complained to the department and signed an online petition on her behalf. Joya's visa was granted this week.

She is touring the U.S. to promote her book, "A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice."

The event is sponsored by the Lilly Project at Willamette.