Fareeda Kuchi Balkhi

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Fareeda Kuchi Balki
Nationality Afghanistan
Other names Farida Kuchi
Occupation noman herder, activist, politician

Fareeda Kuchi Balki is an politician from Afghanistan's nomadic Kuchi tribe.[1][2]

Kuchi has described being married at approximately seven years of age, and bearing her first child at approximately twelve years old.[1] She is illiterate, and doesn't know her exact age. Gall described Kuchi as standing just four foot six inches tall, and how her face and hands were covered in traditional tattoos.

In an August 2005 interview with Carlotta Gall, of the New York Times, Fareeda described losing her husband and some of her children, and all her family's livestock, and ending up in an impromptu refugee camp outside of Mazari Sharif.[1] She described her struggle to deliver a petition requesting aid for her and 1000 other nomads stranded in an impromptu refugee to then Governor of Balkh Province Noorullah Noori as her first political act.[1]

In 2005 and 2010 she was a candidate for Afghanistan's Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of its national legislature.[1] Ten seats were set aside for the nomadic Kuchis. Three of those seats were set aside for women. Six other Kuchi women competed for those seats.

In September 2005, The Telegraph described how Parween Durani, another candidate, complained to voters that Fareeda had an offensive body odour.[3] The Telegraph described Fareeda turning this insult into an advantage, reminding them that, like all traditional Kuchis, her family's sole heating and cooking fuel was animal dung

In 2010 she stood sixth among the female candidates, winning 147 votes.[4] Hamida Ahmadzai won 4078 votes, Helay Irshad won 1774 votes, Parween Duran won 1201 votes.

Fareeda was selected to serve in the Meshrano Jirga, the upper house of Afghanistan's national legislature, in 2010.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Carlotta Gall (2005-08-21). "A Nomad Campaigns to Serve Her People in Afghanistan". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B04E3D8103EF932A1575BC0A9639C8B63. Retrieved 2012-01-13. "She waited at the gates and leapt on his car when he drove out. "I fell off and broke my arm," she said. "My face was scratched, and he felt sorry for me and took the list." The governor alerted international aid organizations, which began her career as an organizer of aid for her community. She was appointed director of the camp and reels off the names of international aid workers and agencies with whom she has worked."  mirror
  2. . http://www.afghanemb-canada.net/public-affairs-afghanistan-embassy-canada-ottawa/daily-news-bulletin-afghanistan-embassy-canada-ottawa/2005/news_articles/august/08232005.html. 
  3. Tom Coghlan, Colin Freeman (2005-08-18). "You stink: Afghan electorate gripped by high politics". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/1498669/You-stink-Afghan-electorate-gripped-by-high-politics.html. Retrieved 2012-01-13. ""Of course we smell bad," she told a gathering of fellow Kuchis huddled around a pungent dung fire on the plains outside Kabul. "We are Kuchis and we have to live in dirty places and use animal dung for our fires. Go to Parweena's office in Kabul tomorrow and see if she doesn't tell you that you have a bad smell? I am a real Kuchi. What does she know about the problems of the Kuchi?" Her audience nodded in agreement." 
  4. "The Kuchi Election". Afghan elections. 2010. http://2010.afghanistanelectiondata.org/about/kuchi. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  5. "Mrs Farida Kuchi". Who's who in Afghanistan. 2011-03-25. http://www.afghan-bios.info/index.php?option=com_afghanbios&id=2040&task=view&total=2101&start=996&Itemid=2. Retrieved 2012-01-13.