Afghan Biographies

Hamidzai, Amanullah Prof. Dr.

Name Hamidzai, Amanullah Prof. Dr.
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1947
Function/Grade Chancellor Kabul Education University
History and Biodata

Prof. Dr. Amanullah Hamidi Amanullah Hamidzai (20120930, 20121029)

2. Previous Functions:
Chancellor Nangahar University (2006)
Chancellor Kabul Education University (2011, 20121029)

3. Biodata:
hamidzai_amanullahAt age 4, Hamidzai spent a year in jail after his father led protests against the king in his birthplace, the city of Jalalabad. Much of the chancellor's childhood was spent with his family· in the country's remote west.

Hamidzai's early trials taught him responsibility and he excelled, becoming a doctor and a professor at the university in Jalalabad and then working for the United Nations. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, he slipped out of the country, not even telling his brother, who was a general and chief of staff in the Defense Ministry. He finally went into self imposed exile to the USA, Maryland, where he obtained US citizenship.

Hamidzai, now an American citizen returned to the university where he taught during the 1960s and 70s as a young doctor, said the Afghan health care system during that time was “completely like Europe. It was very good.”(20060323)

In 2004, the Afghan government asked him to return to Jalalabad to rescue his old college. He soon found the dangers that drove him away still very much present. Armed groups, angry at his efforts to shield the campus from politics, tried to assassinate him, including planting a land mine by his home and putting a poisonous snake in his room. Later, he moved on to the Educational· University chancellor´s· job in Kabul, the capital.

In the nine years since he's been in Afghanistan, Hamidzai has torn a retina and lost sight in his right eye. But he would rather dismiss the rough spells in Kabul with an old Pashtun saying or a joke. He's as coy about his age — "I'm somewhere between 60 and 70" — as any regret he harbors.

Leaning back on a couch, Hamidzai says that when the school year ends in January 2013, he may bow out. The uncertainty of 2014 and the departure of the Americans disturb him; civil war is too real a possibility. Besides, his wife and his son, a software developer in Maryland, worry about him.

Hamidzai is said to be weak and political leaders ignored his views. No one understands whether he to Kabul from his comfortable life in Maryland. There he owns a property 400.000 US $ worth. "It was my emotion," Hamidzai said, shaking his head. "I am stuck now. I can't live without this university."

Hamidzai, an American citizen who recently returned to the university where he taught during the 1960s and 70s as a young doctor, said the Afghan health care system during that time was “completely like Europe. It was very good.”(20060323)

Amanullah Hamidzai is married to Zainab Hamidzai. They have a son Ilyas who is living in the USA.

Kabul Education University· is the newest university in the Kabul. First it was established as Kabul Institute of Pedagogy and then in 2003 it became Kabul Education University. Until 1994 this institute was one of the main Teachers training institution which was running under supervision of the Ministry of Education. Now it has 6 faculties, 4139 students with 1602 female and 2537 male students. It has 164 professors, 122 male and 42 are female professors.(2012)

It originally served as the Teachers Training Centre in the 1990s, awarding Bachelors degrees to its students in fellowship with UNESCO. During the presidency of Burhanuddin Rabbani, it developed into the Institute of Pedagogy, and was given the status of higher education institute and transferred to the Ministry of Higher Education. It was given an official charter as a University in 2003.

President Hamid Karzai´s decision to change the name of Kabul Education University to the Martyr of Peace Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani University. More than two weeks of peaceful protests over the renaming have all but shut down the university, a teacher-training institution with 7,000 students, the second-largest college in Kabul. “Seventeen days of peaceful protests, that’s a record in Afghanistan,” said one of the student leaders, Aziz Rahman.(20121018)

Hamidzai said he “abstains” from giving a view on the new name, although he did note that Rabbani had never set foot on the university campus. He said that the President had proposed a compromise that would allow all four class years now at the school to get their diplomas and other documents in the old name. “It’s a good compromise,” he said.(20121029)

Last Modified 2012-10-30
Established 2012-10-29