Farewell Hussain Babai

Denmark – Dec 18, 2020
This article is based on Akram Gizabi’s tribute to Hussain Afghani.

Hazara icon, Hussain Afghani, passed away after prolonged illness in Denmark. He was a father figure to the Hazara nation and affectionately known as ‘Hussain Babai’ (father).

Hussain Babai was born in Waras, Bamiyan. He migrated from Afghanistan to Iraq as a young man, then to Pakistan, and finally settling in Denmark during 1960s. He was not formally educated, though he spoke Dari, Urdu, Arabic, and Danish languages. He was a founding member of Hazara Association Denmark — one of the first and oldest organization in the Diaspora. Even with his meagre earning, he gave generously to Hazara grass roots organizations and causes. He was also among the founding members of the student activism movement, Hazara Students Federation (HSF) in Quetta, Pakistan, and a founding member of the Tanzeem Nasl Nau Hazara Mughal — a political organization turned NGO working in fields of Hazara culture and education.

During Afghanistan’s communist government of Babrak Karmal, he met then Afghanistan’s Hazara prime minister Sultan Ali Kishtmand and convinced him to support education among the intensely persecuted and discriminated Hazaras in Afghanistan. 

During the war of ‘Gharb-e Kabul’ (war on Hazaras in West Kabul), he arranged money to charter a small plane to fly the Hazara commanders stuck in Peshawar, Pakistan, to defend the Hazara civilians from harms way. 

Upon learning of Hussain Babai’s dedication to well being of Hazara community, Hazara leader Abdul Ali Mazari (RIP) especially asked him to visit him in Afghanistan.  Hussain Babai revered Mazari. He was extremely distraught of hearing Mazari’s murder by Pakistan’s Taliban terrorists — the Hazaras widely believe several nations, as well as prominent figures, played a vital role in the entrapment of Mazari and top Hazara commanders by Taliban.

The Hazara nation bids you farewell — rest in peace, Hussain Babai!


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