"My elder daughter is protective, like a grandmother," Koofi said. "She doesn't want me to go out of the house."
"The younger one is realistic. She said, 'Even if a woman becomes president in Afghanistan, it might be difficult to rule Afghanistan."
"Even the day I was born, I was supposed to die."
That's how Koofi explains her first 24 hours.
She was born in 1975 in the remote and wild northeastern province of Badakhshan, near the border of Tajikistan and China.
Koofi was the 19th child out of her father's 23 children.
Her mother was her father's second wife. Koofi writes in her memoir that she saw him beat her mother badly, tearing out chunks of her hair.
But Koofi's mother loved him. This was the way in Afghanistan. Her mother was dignified, strong, yet at the same time she believed that women obeyed their husbands. When wives failed to please their husbands, they had earned a beating.
While her mother was pregnant with Koofi, her father took a seventh wife, a 14-year-old. That depressed her mother terribly, and her pregnancy was troubled. She was pale, sick and exhausted, Koofi wrote.
Her mother prayed she would give birth to a boy.
After a 30-hour labor in a countryside shack, and falling semi-conscious, someone told Koofi's mother disappointing news.
The woman turned away from her newborn and refused to hold her child.
"No one cared if the new girl lived, so while they focused on saving my mother, I was wrapped in cloth and placed in the baking sun," Koofi wrote.
After nearly a day left alone, screaming, and her parents believing that "nature would take its course" and she would die, someone went outside and brought the baby indoors.
Koofi writes that her mother's instincts to love her kicked in. From then and throughout her early life, Koofi and her mother forged a bond built from surviving circumstances that would probably break most people.
Even today, talking with CNN, when Koofi is asked what her mother would think about her running for president, she has no harsh feelings.
In fact, she reveres both her mother and her father, who became involved in politics and was killed by Afghan fighters when she was 3.
She speaks lovingly about her mother, who died years later.
"My mother always [regarded me] as a special person in her life," Koofi said. "She will always tell me one day you will become something.
"She never told me what that something means for her," Koofi said. "She would be proud, I'm sure. If my mother was alive, my life would be different in a good way because my mother was a big supporter of me."
She included a letter in her memoir to her late mother.
"I'm a politician now. But sometimes I'm just a silly girl and I make mistakes," Koofi wrote. "When I do make a mistake, I imagine you'll be there, gently chiding me and correcting me."
A teenager under the Taliban
Koofi laughs as she recalls how she was determined to go to her English classes when she was a girl, before the Taliban took control and prohibited girls from getting an education.