One girl’s heroic battle against the Taliban was also a family feud


Qamar Gul’s mother, Fatima, had married twice before reuniting with her father, Shah Gul Rahimi, according to Zabihullah Rahmani, a relative. Fatima’s first husband died young of an overdose while working as a laborer in Iran, leaving behind a son who is now a police officer. His second marriage to a local commander was short-lived: he was killed in clashes with the Taliban in the 1990s. Shah Gul, the younger brother of the local commander, stepped in to marry Fatima. They had two children together, Qamar Gul and his 12-year-old brother Habibullah.

In recent years, Mr. Rahimi, who was only 40 years old, has taken on his brother’s responsibilities as an elder of the Taiwara community. He frequently helped the local uprising militia repel Taliban attacks, joining them in their battles. But it was not clear whether he was also a government employee – the militias are paid between $ 50 and $ 150 by the Afghan intelligence agency and provided ammunition – or if he was simply helping in his role as an elder. local.

Residents described him as a staunch fighter, despite having had his hand amputated years before.

About four years ago, Mr. Rahimi struck a deal with a local man from a nearby village named Mohamed Naeem: Mr. Naeem would marry Mr. Rahimi’s daughter, Qamar, as a second wife. In return, Mr. Rahimi would take Mr. Naeem’s teenage niece as his second wife.

As the two girls were young, they waited two years before making the marriage official in separate wedding ceremonies. Mr. Naeem and Mr. Rahimi had become so close that when Mr. Naeem needed a loan of approximately $ 3,000, Mr. Rahimi became his guarantor in a company that granted him the loan.

“Naeem was his son-in-law, and they got along very well too,” said Sebghatullah, Mr. Rahimi’s nephew. “Everything changed at once.”

It is not clear exactly how Mr. Naeem joined the Taliban. But relatives and local officials said it had happened over the past two years as his privacy began to crumble and he was sued for his debts.


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