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Last to Eat, Last to Learn: My Life in Afghanistan Fighting to Educate Women (Hardcover)
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From young Afghani activist and Amnesty International Global Youth Ambassador Pashtana Durrani, a deeply inspiring memoir about the power of learning and the value of educators in their many forms – from teachers, mentors, and role models, to fathers, mothers, and any one of us with the drive to stand against ignorance…
“Pashtana’s story highlights the resourcefulness and bravery of young women in Afghanistan. I hope readers will be inspired by her mission to give every girl the education she deserves and the opportunity to pursue her dreams.”—Malala Yousafzai
Since childhood, Pashtana Durrani has recognized her calling: to educate Afghanistan’s girls and young women. In a country devastated by war and violence, where girls are often married off before reaching their teenage years, heeding that call seemed close to impossible. But Pashtana’s background is as singular as her ambition.
Raised in an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan where her father, a tribal leader, founded a community school for girls within their home, Pashtana was just seven when she began teaching, sharing everything she learned in her private English lessons. At sixteen, she was admitted to a preparatory program to study at Oxford, but turned it down to travel to Afghanistan and begin her mission.
There, Pashtana founded the nonprofit LEARN and developed a brilliant program for getting educational materials directly into the hands of girls in remote areas: in the form of solar-powered, preloaded tablets. Though Pashtana herself was ruthlessly targeted when the Taliban returned to power, she continues to fight for women’s education and autonomy in Afghanistan and beyond.
Full of optimism and heart even amid customs that subjugate both the physical and intellectual nourishment of girls and women, Last to Eat, Last to Learn is not just Pashtana’s story but that of all the forgotten young women who inspired her and are inspired by her in turn—and a testament to finding hope and meaning even within the deepest adversity.
A portion of proceeds from Last to Eat, Last to Learn will be donated to LEARN (LearnAfghan.org), the NGO dedicated to providing quality education and healthcare to communities in conflict zones.
About the Author
Pashtana Durrani is an Afghan education advocate, founder of the NGO LEARN, Malala’s Fund Education Champion, UN’s Youth Envoy, and Amnesty International Global Youth Collective representative. After the fall of Kandahar, and later the rest of the country, Pashtana became a face of disappearing women’s rights in Afghanistan, appearing regularly in national press and on all major US networks. She currently lives in Boston, where she is a visiting fellow at the Wellesley Centers for Women and continues her research to help Afghan women and girls pursue education and support the health of Afghan mothers and babies. Learn more at LearnAfghan.org.
Tamara Bralo is an award-winning journalist who worked for BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera English, and spent years covering war zones around the world; including Iraq, Libya and Syria. An advocate for safety of journalists, and a first woman in charge of High-Risk Deployments for any major network; she currently works as a media consultant for safety and investigative reporting; and for Undivided, an NGO promoting women’s perspectives and narratives of war. Tamara spent an inordinate amount of time covering Afghanistan over the years. She holds an MA from Syracuse University in International Relations, and lives in Washington DC.
Praise for Pashtana Durrani
“Pashtana’s story highlights the resourcefulness and bravery of young women in Afghanistan. I hope readers will be inspired by her mission to give every girl the education she deserves and the opportunity to pursue her dreams.” —Malala Yousafzai
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