An Afghan Leader We Can Admire

Margaret Benefiel 30/11/09

Margaret Benefiel, Ph.D., author of Soul at Work and The Soul of a Leader, works with leaders in health care, business, churches, government, and nonprofits to help them stay true to their souls. Visit her Web site.

The media coverage of Afghanistan focuses, on the one hand, on the evils of the Taliban and, on the other hand, on the necessity of rooting out corruption in the current U.S.-backed government. Where are the leaders we can admire? Who are the Afghan leaders who can lead their country into a promising future? Who is exercising soulful leadership in Afghanistan? Malalai Joya, born just a few days before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1978, grew up in a country at war and in refugee camps outside its borders. As a teenager, she began teaching in secret schools for girls, defying the Taliban. She wore the hated burka, for her a symbol of women’s oppression, in order to hide herself and the books she smuggled into the girls’ schools.