Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan: The Martyr Who Founded RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan” as Want to Read:
Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan: The Martyr Who Founded RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan: The Martyr Who Founded RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  310 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
The unforgettable story of how one woman dared to start a revolution. Meena founded RAWA in 1977 as a twenty-year-old Kabul University student. She was assassinated in 1987 at age thirty but lives on in the hearts of all progressive Muslim women. Her voice, speaking for freedom, has never been silenced. The compelling story of Meena's struggle for democracy and women's rig ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Anti-islam. Anti-Pakistan. And to some extent even anti-Afghan culture. I would've been interested in Meena's story if the author was not so biased and incorrect in her "facts".

Tank Green
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
meena is a really interesting person and certainly an inspirational and heroic figure and RAWA deserve more attention, but its a shame this book was written by someone with a clear shortfall of understanding. additionally, the book has an awful, paternalistic tone as if the author was lecturing a particularly stupid 10 year old.

i hate that she perpetuates the lie that a madrassa is where islamic fundamentalists go to study (it's not - it's just the name for school/university) or that to learn t
*•.♥.•*  Fleur Rebelle *•.♥.•*
Madame Nooria showed the girls statistics that proved Afghanistan was one of the very few nations on earth where women lived shorter lives than men. This was because boys and men were often fed before girls and women. When food was scarce, that could mean malnutrition or even starvation for women.
Feb 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Angela by: book club selection
Shelves: sd-fem-bookclub
"Meena" falls into the unfortunate category of nonfiction book that tells a fantastic, riveting story but suffers from poor writing. Meena seems to have been an inspiring woman with an amazing story, and once I was drawn into her biography I devoured it quickly.

As a literary work, though, Chavis doesn't do the story any favors; the book reads like a ten-year-old's book report and Chavis routinely breaks the narrative to explain simple concepts. I wasn't sure, reading this, what was going on: wa
James F
An inspiring biography of Meena, written shortly after the history by Brodsky, which it seems to be partly based on, although it has other information. This is written in a simpler, less academic style; although for adults, it would not be out of place in a high school library or Young Adult collection. The author was apparently not well-informed about Afghanistan before Sept. 11, and the book somewhat reflects a US (though not a US government) perspective, in that the US role in supporting the ...more
Danica Northend
Mar 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the highlighted read of 2007. The book was well written and aimed to portray the real story of a real woman, leaving any imposed political agenda out of the biography. MEENA's agenda, however, is consistent and apparent throughout her extraordinary life. The book was enlightening, inspiring, and best of all, very true.
Oct 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Deceptively simple because it has a powerful impact. A book of global importance, but also very personal. Poignent, moving, inspiring, heroic. Everyone needs to read this book--we need to know about the poor Afghan people and especially the women's struggles. The Kite Runner was good, but this makes their plight personal.
Constance Chevalier
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much about the area, the people and the history by reading this biography.
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
I started sort of ho-hum on this as I found it a bit too earnest for my taste. There were, at first, a bit too many instances of, "and at that moment, at 15, Meena was deciding too....." I sort of shut down reading a biography when the biography takes those kinds of careless liberties.

That said, it's a good story. A good companion to Charlie Wilson's War (and it really brings to light the problems with having the American support via Pakistan go to the more extremist mujaheddin, touche on in Ch
Feb 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Let me be straightforward: this is a book to read. It's a great story, an eye-opener about Afghani history and culture, and an inspiration. It's also a quick, easy read that you can undertake in a single weekend. It details the life of a woman who sacrificed everything (including her life and the chance to raise her children) to bring literacy, democracy and gender equality to Afghanistan. While she was murdered before she could see her dream of Afghanistan come to fruition, her life is an inspi ...more
Keely Hyslop
Feb 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminist, non-fiction
I almost wanted to give the book 5 stars because I was so impressed with the the breadth of research the author did to present a comprehensive life history of an important, but largely unknown historical figure. Trouble is the writing style was a bit overly sentimental in places and the beginning was stilted with far too much time spent on Meena's near-fatal childhood illness. That said once the book gets going it doesn't stop. It continually boggles the mind the level of courage shown by not on ...more
Rohit Harip
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
A story of afgan girl who struggled from her school days to saught the freedom formely from USSR and later from Taliban. Her fight was against the fundamenalist , against the male chauvinist, against the misinterpreted practises of islam , against the injustice. she was indeed a courageous woman who is now inspiration for all those millions women who are still fighting for their fundamental rights.
she paid the price of her life for this. this book is about the RAWA(r
Oct 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Meena is another great biography that helped me learn about the 20th century history of Afghanistan and gave me a model of another amazing person who lived and died for what she believed in. I was so happy to read the story of an amazing woman as there are few female models whose stories are known to inspire women, but also men. As a teacher, Meena's life provides many lessons I can pass on to my students - challenging their ideas about gender, seeing history through the life of one individual a ...more
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The only downside, if you can call it that is how short it is. Understandably it is hard to find any concrete paperwork on Menna such as personal diaries etc as such items were too risky to keep around under the Taliban. The author however with such restrictive resources and only second-hand accounts from family and friends does a great job in telling Meena's story. It is truly heartbreaking but courageous and inspiring that at such a young age Meena influenced a generation of Afghan girls and w ...more
Jul 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is a great book with an intriguing story about an amazing woman. It is, however, quite lacking in style. It's written in a very elemntary manner. The author repeats herself often and jumps around from page to page. But if you can ignore the fact that it's not very well written, it's still a great book.
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't actually finish this book. I got about halfway through and couldn't finish (and it's not a very long book). I really wanted to know more about Meena and her life but the writing of this is sooo terribly dull.
Cristina Contilli
E' la biografia di Meena, la fondatrice di Rawa, l'associazione che si batte per i diritti delle donne afghane... un libro che bisognerebbe leggere per ricordarsi che i diritti delle donne purtroppo non sono ancora garantiti dovunque.
Aug 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible book about such an amazing woman! The story of Meena and her life and formation of the feminist group, RAWA, shows that we all should believe in equal freedom, democracy and the fact that everyone should be given a chance.
Salal Amjad
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
one of my favourite book.....MEENA is the true heroine of Afghanistan....and the best thing about this book is that it keep on telling you about other important people and history like malalai of maiwand.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
First Edition
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beautiful and heart wrenching true story of a woman trying to make the world better place.
Oct 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A must read! truly touching.
Nov 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Easy to read and gives a really intimate picture of life in Afghanistan.
May 17, 2008 rated it liked it
It's always a little disappointing to read a book that has potential to be better and isn't. Meena's story is amazing, and yet the writing is "dumbed down."
Wisteria Leigh
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fighter and determined crusader for women's rights. An exceptional brave leader with an unstoppable will to accomplish great change. Terrific biography.
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A very inspiring book!
DJ Shiva
Sep 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Read it because the story of these women needs to be heard, and don't expect a literary masterpiece.

(Three stars only because the writing leaves much to be desired.)
Jen Roe
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great
Nov 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice
  • Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan
  • The Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan
  • Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East
  • Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse: The True Story of a Woman Who Risked Everything to Bring Hope to Afghanistan (Voice)
  • Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
  • Veiled Courage: Inside the Afghan Women's Resistance
  • In the Name of Honour: A Memoir
  • Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran
  • A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan
  • Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan
  • Daughter Of Destiny: An Autobiography
  • Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World
  • Zoya's Story: An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom
  • The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women's Rights in Islam
  • The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes
  • The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban
  • Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate

Nonfiction Deals

  • Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
    $10.74 $1.99
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich
    $13.95 $1.99
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    $11.74 $2.99
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'm Just a Person
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
    $27.99 $4.99
  • The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Murphy's Boy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness
    $12.99 $1.99
  • My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Essential Rumi
    $10.24 $1.99
  • Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
    $10.74 $2.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece
    $8.24 $1.99
  • How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays (A Harvest Book)
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
    $6.99 $2.99
  • No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
    $10.49 $2.99
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Castles of Steel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir
    $9.99 $2.99
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
    $14.99 $1.99