Canada Reads 2018

Mozhdah Jamalzadah

Mozhdah Jamalzadah defended The Boat People by Sharon Bala on Canada Reads 2018.

Defended The Boat People by Sharon Bala

Mozhdah Jamalzadah defended The Boat People by Sharon Bala. (CBC)

Mozhdah Jamalzadah defended The Boat People by Sharon Bala on Canada Reads 2018. Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto, defended by Jeanne Beker, was the winner of Canada Reads 2018. 

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. 

Canada Reads

The Canada Reads defenders and authors took the stage in Toronto to discuss the five books that will be championed on CBC's battle of the books from March 26-29, 2018. Here and Now's Gill Deacon hosted the event in the Glenn Gould Studio. 1:07:45
On Day One of Canada Reads, Mozhdah Jamalzadah makes her case for The Boat People by Sharon Bala. 1:12
Let the battle of the books begin! Canada Reads is CBC's annual literary debate show. 44:08
Singer Mozhdah Jamalzadah shares why she chose to champion The Boat People by Sharon Bala in this year's battle of the books. 8:18
This morning is a big day for books in Canada — it's the day that we get to find out this year's panellists and their book choices for Canada Reads 2018. This year's battle of the books will revolve around the theme "One Book to Open Your Eyes," celebrating titles that challenge readers to look differently at themselves, their neighbours and the world around them. All five of the panellists — Jully Black, Mozhdah Jamalzadah, Tahmoh Penikett, Greg Johnson, Jeanne Beker — join guest host Laurie Brown in the q studio to reveal their choices for the book they think all Canadians should read. 14:24

Other interviews

The 2018 Canada Reads panellists share a few strategies and discuss their competition style. 2:09
Television is a source of tension in Afghanistan, a tug-of-war between Western and conservative Afghan styles. Susan Ormiston interviews a TV host who personifies those tensions. 3:17
Afghan-Canadian TV icon Mozhdah Jamalzadah reacts to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's decision to support clerics who say women are inferior to men. 2:54

The Canada Reads 2018 contenders

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