Afghan Biographies

Karim, Jalil Sayed

Name Karim, Jalil Sayed
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1969
Function/Grade Ex Ambassador
History and Biodata

2. Previous Functions:

CEO, Board Member Marasel Group, Saudi Arabia

Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Riyadh (20160802-20200220 stepped down))

3. Biodata:
Sayed Jalal Karim aka Said Jalal Nabagha Sayed Jalal Kareem was born 1969. He was admitted to the French-run Istiqlal High School at the age of six. He received the higher secondary school certificate from the same school two years later – 10 years ahead of his classmates. Because of his ability, he was nicknamed as Nabagha (Prodigy). He got admission to the Engineering Department of Kabul University in 1978. Then he went to New York and joined Columbia University. At the age of nine, he was courted by some of America's most prestigious institutions of higher learning.

His remarkable story was covered by the New York Times, Daily News and other prominent media outlets. As a college student in the US, he was forced to return to Kabul in compliance with orders from former communist-backed President Hafizullah Amin.

He and his father were then sent to Moscow University where Jalal studied Russian, mathematics and physics in a special programme.

By 1980, his remaining family in Kabul managed to flee to Pakistan, which gave Jalal and his father an opening to return. Though it was not easy to leave Russia, yet they were finally able to come back to Afghanistan before meeting their family in Pakistan. After living in Pakistan for six months, they immigrated to Saudi Arabia, where Jalal entered the prestigious King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. He studied engineering, physics and Arabic. Less than three years later, at age 14, he dropped out of school to support his family.

As an entrepreneur, he established and sold more than a dozen successful companies, including some based in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. His business partners have included multi-national corporations and members of the royal families from different countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Jalal still found time to study business, international and Islamic law.

Outside of his career as a businessman, in the early 1990s, he tried to negotiate a political solution to the civil war by mediating between Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as rival factions involved in the conflict.

In 1997, he claims to have secured the release of 10 Iranian hostages as a result of talks with the Taliban regime.

A year later, he successfully negotiated a one-month ceasefire and the exchange of over 1,200 prisoners between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban.

Sayed Jalal was a candidate in the 2009 Afghanistan presidential election. A week before the election fellow candidate Mawlana Abdul Qadir İmami Ghori withdrew from the race and asked his supporters to vote for Karim instead. During the 2009 Presidential elections he stood 13th in a field of 38. He won 500,572 votes.
 As a child in Kabul, Sayed Jalal was known in Afghanistan and abroad for his prodigious skills in mathematics. At the age of 9, Jalal came to the United States where he interviewed with several top American colleges, including Columbia University. However, Jalal was not able to attend college in the U.S., because Hafizullah Amin demanded his return to Afghanistan and then forced to him and his father to move to Russia. There, Jalal attended Moscow University where he was the youngest student ever. Yet never managed to complete any degree.

After leaving Russia, Jalal and his father took refuge in Pakistan before finally immigrating to Saudi Arabia. There, Jalal became a successful businessman and also became involved in politics. Sayed Jalal has negotiated ceasefires and hostage releases between The Northern Alliance, The Taliban, and Iran. He operates within a network of influence that once included Benazir Bhutto. Jalal claims to campaigns on a platform that rejects the notion that Afghan politics must be tribal and divisive. He claims to seek an end to warlord politics and is a strong critic of the government of Hamid Karzai, which he views as weak, incompetent, and corrupt. Jalal lacks real political experience and international support. It is also suggested that Jalal does not know how to speak formal Persian by many Afghans within and outside Afghanistan. He lacks charisma and real chance of ever becoming the President of Afghanistan

In 2016 he was made Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. 20200220 he stepped down.

His future plan is to work in a private sector because In Rhyad he was not a career diplomat, he came from the private sector, so he'll go back for a while.

He ist married and has three daughters and one son.

Karim speaks Pashtu, Urdu, Russian and Arabic.

Last Modified 2020-09-03
Established 2009-11-22