malalai joya in toronto: thoughts with report to follow

Hearing Malalai Joya speak last night was electrifying, inspiring, humbling, maddening and profoundly moving.

Electrifying because she fairly crackles with the energy and life-force of the people united, changing the world.

Inspiring because she is a consummate leader, and doer, and organizer.

Humbling because I was, frankly, in awe of her. She has struggled against unfathomable odds (four assassination attempts?!) and has only gotten stronger. She says, "I am not afraid of death, I am only afraid of silence." She lives for The Struggle, and she is an example to each of us whose hearts live there, too.

Maddening because Canada - Canadians! - our tax dollars! - are supporting an repressive, corrupt, misogynist, brutal, fascist regime in Afghanistan.

And deeply moving to hear and learn from such a teacher.

I want to write about her talk more fully, but I need a little time to let things percolate, and I have a few things already on the agenda today. Unfortunately, I won't be able to report as well as I have on other events: Joya speaks in a rapid-fire delivery that defies manual recording. (When she answered an audience member's question in Pashto, the speed ratcheted up to lightning levels!) But I'll summarize as best I can, and I know there'll be video up soon.

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