Toryalai Wesa

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Tooryalai Wesa
توريالی ویسا
Kandahar Governor in April 2012.jpg
Wesa inside the governor's house in Kandahar (April 2012)
Governor of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
Assumed office
December 19, 2008
Preceded by Rahmatullah Raufi
Personal details
Born c. 1949
Kandahar, Afghanistan
Religion Islam

Tooryalai Wesa (Pashto: توريالی ویسا; born c. 1949) is a politician in Afghanistan. He is currently serving as Governor of Kandahar Province, a position he holds since December 2008 after replacing Rahmatullah Raufi.[1]

Early years[edit]

Wesa was born and raised in the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. He belongs to the Mohammedzai subtribe of Barakzai Pashtun people|Pashtuns]].

After securing his BS in Agricultural Economics and Extension from the Faculty of Agriculture at Kabul University in 1973, he pursued his MS at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at American University of Beirut in Lebanon. Due to the start of the Lebanese Civil War, he moved to the United States where he studied at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He received his MS in 1977 before returning to Afghanistan.

Dr. Wesa was named senior advisor to the Afghan Minister for Higher Education in 1989 and returned to his native city in 1991 as the founding president of Kandahar University. He and the family were forced to leave the country after Gul Agha Sherzai and other walords fought for control over Kandahar. From 1993 to 1994, he served as a guest lecturer in the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Before his appointment as Governor of Kandahar, he lived for 13 years in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. He obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia in Canada. His thesis was "The Afghan Agricultural Extension System: Impact of the Soviet Occupation and Prospects for the Future".

From 1995 to 1998, he worked for the Asian Studies Center and the Center for Policy Studies in Education at the University of British Columbia.

As a student, lecturer and researcher, Dr. Wesa has been associated with 10 universities worldwide and has published 20 articles including text books.

In addition to his career as an academic, Dr. Wesa has worked as a consultant for the Canadian Government (Statistics Canada), the US Government (USAID), British Government (DFID), the United Nations (FAO and UNDP) and several NGOs (including the SENLIS Council).

Return to Afghanistan[edit]

U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Toryalai Wesa in 2012.

Wesa was chosen by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to serve as Governor of Kandahar. Prior to that he was Chancellor of Kandahar University.

Dr. Wesa is fluent in English, Persian, German, Arabic, and his native Pashto language. His immediate family includes a wife and three daughters, one of which is a lawyer and the other an economist. His wife is a gynecologist, training midwives.

Assassination attempts[edit]

Wesa has survived nine assassination attempts in Afghanistan.

He narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on 27 November 2009 when a roadside bomb damaged his vehicle.[2]

On 28 April 2012, two Taliban suicide bombers again unsuccessfully tried to kill him.[3]


  1. ^ "In Afghanistan, governor of Kandahar defies Taliban, death threats, to stay on in his job". Fox News. December 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  2. ^ CBC News, Kandahar governor unhurt in assassination attempt [1], November 27, 2009
  3. ^ New York Times, Afghan Official Survives Attack by Insurgents [2]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Rahmatullah Raufi
Governor of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
December 2008–present
Succeeded by