Defending The Boat People by Sharon Bala
Dubbed the "Oprah of Afghanistan," Kabul-born, Vancouver-raised Mozhdah Jamalzadah came to Canada when she was just five years old. When Mozhdah's father wrote a protest poem inspired by an acid attack on a group of Kandahar schoolgirls, Mozhdah set it to music and turned it into a hit. Afghan Girl was 2009's song of the year in Afghanistan, and in 2010 Mozhdah was invited to the White House to perform it for Michelle and Barack Obama. The attention led to a hosting gig at a TV station in Afghanistan. The Mozhdah Show focused on families, tackling taboo subjects from child labour to divorce. These bold conversations led to death threats, and Mozhdah was advised to return to Canada. Today, Mozhdah continues to release new music and contributes to charitable work benefiting orphans supported by the Azizi Foundation.
The Canada Reads 2018 contenders
- Mozhdah Jamalzadah, defending The Boat People by Sharon Bala
- Tahmoh Penikett, defending American War by Omar El Akkad
- Greg Johnson, defending Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson
- Jeanne Beker, defending Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto
- Jully Black, defending The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline