Fawzia Koofi

  • Aired:  02/13/13
  •  | Views: 39,283

Afghanistan's first female parliament speaker Fawzia Koofi charts her life journey, from being left for dead as a baby to becoming an author and presidential candidate. (6:01)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, SHE'S

AFGHANISTAN'S FIRST FEMALE

PARLIAMENT SPEAKER AND PLANS TO

RUN FOR PRESIDENT OF AFGHANISTAN

IN 2014.

HER BOOK IS CALLED "THE FAVORED

DAUGHTER: ONE WOMAN'S FIGHT TO

LEAD AFGHANISTAN TO THE FUTURE."

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM

FAWZIA KOOFI.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

HELLO.

THANK YOU FOR COMING.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

NICE TO SEE YOU.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

YOU KNOW, WE GET A LOT OF PEOPLE

ON THIS SHOW AND THEY ARE ALL

VERY NICE.

BUT YOUR STORY IS SO ASTONISHING

AND SO INSPIRING THAT I AM

EMBARRASSED.

IT BEGINS WITH YOUR BIRTH AND

YOUR MOTHER FEELING LIKE BECAUSE

YOU ARE A GIRL, YOU ARE NOT

WORTHY, AND THEY LEAVE YOU TO

DIE.

AND YET HERE YOU ARE RUNNING FOR

PRESIDENT OF AFGHANISTAN.

HOW --

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

-- IT'S -- HUMBLING AND -- WALK

US THROUGH JUST A LITTLE BIT OF

THAT JOURNEY.

>> IT'S TRUE.

ACTUALLY MY STORY IS A PART OF

MANY AFGHANISTAN WOMAN STORY BUT

THE FACT THAT I MADE IT FOR

EVERYONE TO HEAR THE LIFE OF AN

AFGHAN WOMAN IS FIRST OF ALL I

WAS EDUCATED.

BECAUSE MY MOTHER AS A WOMG

SUFFERED SO MUCH AND SHE DIDN'T

WANT ANOTHER WOMAN TO SUFFER AS

MUCH AS SHE SUFFERED.

SHE DOESN'T CARE SO MUCH WHEN I

WAS FIRSTBORN BUT SHE LATER IN

MY LIFE SHE GAVE ME ENOUGH LOVE

AND SUPPORT WHEN I WENT TO

SCHOOL.

BUT THE LIFE OF AFGHAN WOMAN

FROM THE TIME SHE IS BORN TO THE

TIME SHE'S MARRIED AND GOES TO

HER, YOU KNOW, HUSBAND'S LIFE

AND TO THE TIME HER LIFE

FINISHES IS FULL OF STRUGGLE.

IT'S CHANGED THOUGH NOW.

THE TYPE OF STRUGGLE I HAD TO

DO, MY DAUGHTERS DON'T HAVE TO

DO THAT.

IT'S A GENERATION CHANGE.

I HAD TO STRUGGLE TO GO TO

SCHOOL AND MANY MEMBERS OF MY

FAMILY WOULDN'T ALLOW ME TO GO

TO SCHOOL.

BUT MY DAUGHTERS HAVE A CHOICE

TO GO TO THE BEST SCHOOL IN

KABUL AND I THINK BECAUSE OF THE

SOCIAL CHANGES IN AFGHANISTAN.

IT'S HARDLY MESH YOU'RABLE TO BE

REPORTED IN MEDIA BECAUSE IT'S

NOT MEASURABLE.

WITH ALL THE CHANGES THAT HAS

HAPPENED, I GIVE MYSELF ALL

ELIGIBILITY TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT

OF AFGHANISTAN.

>> Jon: IT'S TREMENDOUS.

WHEN YOU SPEAK ABOUT THE SOCIAL

CHANGE THAT HAS OCCURRED OVER

THAT GENERATION, YET, YOUR LIFE

REMAINS IN PERIL ON A DAILY

BASIS.

THE TALIBAN HAS TRIED TO

ASSASSINATE YOU MANY DIFFERENT

TIMES.

AND YOU SEEM REMARKABLY SERENE

IN THE FACE AFTER THIS KIND OF

DANGER.

IS THAT JUST SOMETHING YOU HAVE

A FAITH THAT YOU BELIEVE THIS IS

YOUR DESTINY THIS IS WHAT YOU

MUST DO EVEN WITH THE PERIL IT

PUTS YOU IN?

>> IT'S A CHOICE.

I COULD COME TO EUROPE OR U.S.

AND STAY LUXURIOUS LIFE LIKE

MANY OTHER PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD

DO OR I COULD STAY BACK IN MY

COUNTRY AND TRY TO CONTRIBUTE TO

A SMALL CHANGE IF I CAN.

I HAVE DECIDED TO GO FOR THE

SECOND OPTION THOUGH IT'S NOT

EASY.

I FEEL AS A WOMAN IF YOU BECOME

STRONGER POLITCALLY OR SOCIALLY

YOU FIND MORE OPPONENTS.

THERE'S PEOPLE THAT WANT YOU NOT

TO BE IN THIS WORLD.

THERE'S BEEN WOMAN THAT I --

THAT I HAD TO FACE INSURGENCY

FACE TO FACE.

THEY TRIED TO KILL ME.

I WAS UNDER ATTACK FOR HALF AN

HOUR.

BUT STILL I -- YOU KNOW I THINK

AFGHANISTAN NEEDS PEOPLE WHO

BRING CHANGE FOR THE PEOPLE AND

I THINK -- AGAIN, I SEE MYSELF

PART OF THE AGENT OF CHANGE IN

AFGHANISTAN.

AND AFGHANISTAN IS NOT ONLY A

COUNTRY WHERE YOU HEAR ABOUT WAR

IT'S A COUNTRY FULL OF VALUES

AND PERHAPS YOU HAVE SEEN IT IN

ONE SPECIAL.

>> Jon: ABSOLUTELY.

>> IT'S A RELATIONSHIP AND

VALUE.

THAT IS THE FACE OF AFGHANISTAN

I WOULD LIKE TO DEMONSTRATE TO

THE WORLD WHICH IS NOT ONLY A

COUNTRY THAT YOU DON'T NATE TO

BUT A COUNTRY THAT COULD BE

RELIABLE IN THE WORLD.

THE NEW GENERATION IS DOING AN

ENORMOUSLY WONDERFUL JOB TRYING

TO MAKE SURE THAT AFGHANISTANçó

DOESN'T ONCE AGAIN FALL IN THE

HANDS OF EXTREMISM OR

RADICALISM.

THE FACT THAT I WAS LISTENING TO

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S STATE OF THE

UNION ADDRESS LAST NIGHT, IT'S

PROMISING TO SEE AFGHANISTAN IS

PART OF FOREIGN POLICY BUT ON

THE OTHER HAND, TROOP WITHDRAWAL

IS CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE AND IN

AFGHANISTAN THERE'S CONCERN OF

WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THE

PURSUING OF THE PEACE PROCESS.

THERE'S HOPES AND CONCERNS AS

WELL.

I WANT TO BE PART OF HOPE FOR MY

COUNTRY.

I KNOW THERE ARE CHALLENGES AND

ONE DAY I MIGHT BE ASSASSINATED

BUT IT'S A CHOICE I MADE FOR

MYSELF.

>> Jon: INSPIRING ONE AND

INCREDIBLY BRAVE ONE.

ENOUGH TIME WE'LL GOOD TO

COMMERCIAL AND WE'LL TALK MORE

ABOUT THE COMPLEXITIES ANT

DUEALITY OF LIVING IN

AFGHANISTAN AND THE DIFFICULTY

AS YOU GO THROUGH THERE.

VERY, VERY NICE TO HAVE YOU ON

THE SHOW.

FAWZIA KOOFI, "THE FAVORED

DAUGHTER."

YOU SHE HAD GUT THIS AND READ

IT.

SHE'S PRETTY A

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