Zeenat Karzai

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Zeenat Quraishi Karzai (born 1970) is the wife of former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and was the First Lady of Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014. Originally from the city of Kandahar, she moved to Kabul where she lived at the Presidential Palace with her husband and their four children.

Zeenat Karzai
Laura Bush and Zenat Karzai talk with women of Afghanistan.jpg
Zeenat Karzai with American First Lady Laura Bush talking with women.
First Lady of Afghanistan
In Office
22 December 2001 – 29 September 2014
PresidentHamid Karzai
Preceded byVacant
Succeeded byRula Ghani
Personal details
Zeenat Quraishi

1970 (age 49–50)
Spouse(s)Hamid Karzai (m. 1999)
Alma materKabul University
ReligionSunni Islam

Born in 1970 and raised in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the daughter of a civil servant, Zenat Quraishi moved to Kabul after high school to attend Kabul University. She is an ethnic Pashtun. In 1993, she and her family escaped from the civil war to neighboring Quetta in Balochistan, Pakistan. She was a gynaecologist by profession, and has worked in hospitals treating Afghan refugees in Pakistan before she married Hamid Karzai.[1]

Laura Bush meets Zenat Karzai in 2005

She is a distant relative of Hamid Karzai and they have a son who was born in 2007, named Mirwais and a daughter named Malalai, born in 2012. Their third child, a daughter named Howsi, was born in a private hospital in Gurgaon, India in March 2014, when Zeenat Karzai was 44.[2] Their fourth child, a daughter, was born on 3 September 2016 in Apollo Hospital, New Delhi.[3] Dr. Zeenat belongs to the Quraish family line and her husband Karzai is from the Popalzai tribe.

For a president who has been credited for helping the women of Afghanistan regain their civil rights, Karzai has 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.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Afghan First Lady's quiet public debut". The Daily Telegraph. 10 April 2004. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Afghan President Hamid Karzai's baby girl born in Gurgaon hospital". Times of India.
  3. ^ "Sahara Samay - Latest News India, Live Breaking News Regional News, World Top Headlines, Business, Politics, Sports, Bollywood". Sahara Samay.
  4. ^ "Meeting Afghanistan's 'invisible' first lady". BBC. 8 March 2013.