Books·Canadian

Voice of Rebellion

Voice of Rebellion is a biography by Roberta Staley.

Roberta Staley

Many have tried to silence her, but Mozhdah Jamalzadah remains the most powerful female voice of her generation in Afghanistan, boldly speaking out about women's rights. Voice of Rebellion charts her incredible journey, including arriving in Canada as a child refugee, setting her father's protest poem to music (and making it a #1 hit), performing that song for Michelle and Barack Obama, and, finally, being invited to host her own show in Afghanistan. The Mozhdah Show earned her the nickname "The Oprah of Afghanistan" and tackled taboo subjects like divorce and domestic violence for the first time in the country's history. But even as her words resonated with women and families, Mozhdah received angry death threats — some of them serious — and was eventually advised to return to Canada.

Traversing Central Asia and North America, Voice of Rebellion profiles a devoted singer and activist who continues to fight for change, even from afar. (From Greystone Books

Roberta Staley is a writer and documentary filmmaker.

Mozhdah Jamalzadah was a panellist on Canada Reads 2018. She defended the novel The Boat People by Sharon Bala.

 Jamalzadah was previously featured in Staley's award-winning documentary Mightier Than the Sword, a film about how female journalists and filmmakers are reshaping gender norms in Afghanistan.

Interviews with Mozhdah Jamalzadah

Mozhdah Jamalzadah talks to Shelagh Rogers about Voice of Rebellion by Roberta Staley. It's the first biography of Mozhdah Jamalzadah's life as a refugee, pop singer and champion of women's rights. 13:57

More about Mozhdah Jamalzadah

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
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

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