Afghan Biographies

Karzai, Zeenat Quraishi Dr.

Name Karzai, Zeenat Quraishi Dr.
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1970
Function/Grade Wife of President Karzai
History and Biodata

3. Biodata
Karzai_Zeenat_1Zinat Karzai Zenat Quraishi was born 1970 and raised in the southern city of Kandahar. She is the daughter of a civil servant. Zenat Quraishi moved to Kabul after high school to attend Kabul University. Zinat Karzai remembers with affection her father who worked in the education ministry and pushed all his daughters to study. In 1993  she and her family fled from the civil war to Quetta, Pakistan. She was a gynaecologist by profession, and has worked in hospitals treating Afghan refugees in Pakistan before she married Hamid Karzai. She is a distant relative of the President. Dr. Zenat belongs to the Quraishi family line and her husband Hamid Karzai is from the Popalzai tribe.

She has been in Kabul for many years but she rarely ventures beyond the many layers of security of the presidential palace, which includes four security checkpoints, two body searches and a secret code word. Although during her early years, before the 2004 presidential election, she used to go shopping alone.

karzai_zeenat2Most Afghans are not even aware that their president, Hamid Karzai, has been karzai_zeenat3married since 1999. For a president who has been credited for helping the women of Afghanistan regain their civil rights, Karzai has also been criticized for being overly conservative with his own spouse. Many have accused Karzai of keeping the first lady out of the media’s reach over fears of criticism from conservative mullahs and religious leaders. Karzai’s picture can be seen in dozens of newspapers and magazines every day, but he has made sure that Zeenat is kept out of the public eye. The first lady has expressed her desire to work for Afghan people and women. In 1999, Zeenat married Hamid Karzai. They have three children. A son was born in 2007 named Mirwais and later they had a baby daughter Malalai. Karzai’s second daughter was born around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday 20140304 at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute in the New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon.

Quraishi (also rendered as Qureshi, Qoraishi, Koraishi or Kureishi), is a family name that originates from Arabs in Saudi Arabia, particularely from the city of Mecca. The Quraish tribe diaspora is spread all around the world. Due to Arab migrations into foreign lands, the Quraish tribe was able to establish itself in these lands. The Quraish tribe exists in many parts of South Asia, particularely in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

Last Modified 2014-03-07
Established 2009-11-24