Afghan Biographies

Hamidi, Ghulam Haider Haidar Hameedi Haydar


Name Hamidi, Ghulam Haider Haidar Hameedi Haydar
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1947
Function/Grade Ex Mayor
History and Biodata

2. Previous Functions:
Kandahar Mayor, killed (20060200-20110727)

3. Biodata:
Hamidi_GhulamGhulam Haider Hameedi (a.k.a. Hamidi) was born 1947 in Arghandab District, Kandahar Province and attended Kabul University. He worked for 13 years in the Afghan Finance Ministry's budget department and was employed at a government bank. During Taliban rule, his family fled to Pakistan, then to the United States. Kandahar Mayor, Ghulam Hayder Haider Hamidi (20100318), was an accountant for Transam Travel in a Washington, D.C. suburb and in Virginia for 20 years, where he lived in self imposed exile with his familiy. After the collaps of the Taliban regime he returned to Afghanistan.

The Afghan-American Hamidi was supposedly picked for the post by Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother to Hamid Karzai, the president, whom he described as an old friend of the family. Naseem Sharifi, a former Kandahar businessman now living in California, called the mayor "a man with several faces." He added: "He says he is against the warlords, but only those who jeopardize the profits of the bigger warlords. He did not come here to serve the public. He was brought here on a high salary to help all the local business profits go to the Karzais." Hamidi is more or less integrated into the Karzai Clan.

One controversial deal was a residential project called Aino Mina, which was promoted by Mahmoud Karzai, another of the president's brothers. Most of the land belonged to the Ministry of Defense, which fought for three years to keep it and accused Ahmed Wali Karzai of political interference. Hamidi worked to purchase the land for the city, then sold it to Mahmoud Karzai's company, which built a luxury community with space for several thousand houses.

He’s been targeted by assassins 20090315. Some of his seven children have begged him to go back to America but Hamidi says he’s staying. He has a daughter, Rangina Hamidi, who is a prominent women's advocate. She was born 1980 in Afghanistan but raised in Pakistan and the United States. In 2003, Mrs. Hamidi abandoned a comfortable life in the United States to return to Kandahar and help women here establish their rights. Even she has started to wear the Burkha in Kandahar.

Kandahar City mayor Ghulam Haidar Hamidi
was killed in a suicide attack in the municipality complex at 9:40 am 20110727, said Zalmai Ayubi, the Kandahar governor's spokesman. Hameedi was about to speak to citizens who were protesting the destruction of about 200 illegal houses in the city's sprawling northend slum of Lowe-Wala, which is considered a breeding ground for Taliban supporters. The mayor had launched a campaign against squatters in Lowe-Wala. This sparked a protest 20110726 in front of the governor's palace during which about 200 angry residents of the slum chanted "death to the mayor."

Last Modified 2011-10-15
Established 2010-03-18