Outspoken: My fight for freedom and human rights in Afghanistan

Samar, Dr Sima


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The impassioned memoir of Afghanistan’s Sima Samar: medical doctor, public official, founder of schools and hospitals, thorn in the side of the Taliban, nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, and lifelong advocate for girls and women.

‘I have three strikes against me. I’m a woman, I speak out for women and I’m Hazara, the most persecuted tribe in Afghanistan.’

Dr Sima Samar has been fighting for equality and justice for most of her life. Born into a polygamous family, she learned early that girls had inferior status, and had to agree to an arranged marriage if she wanted to go to university. By the time she was in medical school, she had a son, Ali, and had become a revolutionary. After her husband was disappeared by the pro-Russian regime, she escaped. With her son and medical degree, she took off into the rural areas-by horseback, by donkey, even on foot-to treat people who had never had medical help before.

Her wide-ranging experiences both in her home country and on the world stage mean she has all the inside stories: the dishonesty, the collusion, the corruption, the self-serving leaders, the hijacking of religion. And as a former Vice President, she knows all the players in this chess game called Afghanistan. With stories that are at times poignant, at times terrifying, inspiring as well as disheartening, Sima provides an unparalleled view of Afghanistan’s past and its present. Despite being in grave personal danger for many years, she has worked tirelessly to achieve justice and full human rights for all the citizens of her country.


‘Outspoken is a must read for every woman – indeed for every person – who supports equality and human rights, especially for women and girls. Dr Samar’s life is an inspiration; she speaks truth to power and has repeatedly risked her life for doing so. Feminists worldwide can and must learn from her experiences.’ -Ellie Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation and Publisher, Ms. Magazine

Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Imprint: HarperCollins AU
Publication date: 06/03/2024

ISBN: 9781460763452