by S. Ghilzai / Published on November 13, 2014
Dr. Zeenat Karzai (née Quraishi) was the former First Lady of Afghanistan, and wife of former President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai was born in 1970, to a prominent family of the Quraishi tribe, in Kandahar. After finishing high school in Kandahar, she attended Kabul University, as her father worked in the education ministry and always encouraged his daughters to attend school. Zinat Karzai is a gynaecologist by profession. When the Taliban took over Afghanistan, Karzai and her family fled to Quetta, Pakistan, where she continued her gynecology work, specifically in refugee camps for Afghans. She married President Karzai in 1999. Most Afghans are unaware that former President Karzai even has a wife (so much so that up until Karzai’s re-election, Dr. Karzai would go shopping alone around Kabul), because she has been kept so concealed. President Karzai has received much criticism for being such a staunch supporter of women’s rights, but yet keeps his own wife so shielded. Dr. Karzai has three children with the President, two daughters and one son.