Qudsia’s Three Children

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I once knew a very beautiful girl named Qudsia. She studied in one of the high schools in Ghor province and was very intelligent. In school, she met a handsome boy named Hakim. They were both in tenth grade studying English, and they became friends. After some time they fell in love.

After graduation, Qudsia and Hakim wanted to get engaged. At first, the boy’s family was not happy about the engagement because the two families were different—one Tajik and the other Pashtun. After some time, however, the boy’s family came to accept Qudsia and both families agreed to the engagement. After one year, they were married and they were very happy. Soon they had three children, two boys and one girl.

Then Qudsia got sick; she was diagnosed with cancer. From that day on, Hakim—who everyone knew loved his wife more than anyone or anything in the world—changed. He would not spend money to cure Qudsia. The doctors that said she would require many blood transfusions and would have to travel to India. Hakim thought, “If I spend my money on Qudsia, I will not be able to marry another girl.”

Although the family was rich, he refused to pay for the treatment. His family started saying they never liked her: “We accepted her for you and now she has cancer. If we knew that one day she would get this sickness, we would never have let you marry this girl.” 

Hakim’s family made her continue with the housework and taught her children to hate her by telling them she had a “bad disease” and if they talked to her they would also be stricken.

Qudsia died from her illness after a year. Soon her husband married another girl. The new wife didn’t like the three children and she wanted to send them to an orphanage.

When Hakim refused she said, “This is my first marriage. I need to enjoy my life. But it is your second marriage and these are your children with your beloved wife who is no longer in this world. I don’t have to keep them and take care of them. When I give birth, I will keep my own baby.”

Hakim has not yet replied. He cannot decide what to do for his children.

By Rabia

Photo: AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen


  1. Sad tell nicely written. Thank you.

  2. Three children. I am really surprised by educated women who still convert themselves to a child factory. Children mean responsibility and necessary means to give them the BEST education, background and not to sell them or use them for slave labor. Women should be taught to decide whether to get pregnant or not. Leaving 3-5-7 orphans in a hostile environmen is something I would never pardon myself for.

  3. elaine says:

    Such a sad story. I wonder what he will do.

  4. Pat Collins says:

    Hakim should beg forgiveness for his actions. He is to blame for his wife’s death by refusing medical treatment which could have saved her life and not made her children orphans, if that is what Hakim is intending to do. Hakim should be ashamed of his thoughts and raise his children to the best of his ability. If the second wife is not pliant then she should walk away because Hakim may do the same to her and any children he has with her. Poor children didn’t ask to be the offspring of such a callous man.

  5. This is a stunning story to me–one that hurt my heart, again and again, after every sentence. In our marriage vows, we promise to love “in sickness and in health”. Of course, people break vows, but to imagine not only being sick, but being blamed for being sick…to imagine one’s husband withholding the funds for treatment, and that reasoning being because he wants the $ for his next wife (!!!!!)…to imagine her children force-fed poison and fear… and then, once she dies (so quickly!), her pride and joy–her children–faced with being turned out of the house because the husband cannot do the right thing and love and stand by them… at every turn this is a terrible story! May the children find themselves in a loving home, with a family that will love and provide for them! May this happen as soon as possible!


  6. a very sad story. The wicked step mother is a staple in literature. Hakim’s actions and his family’s are shocking. How self-centered he is on his own satisfaction, at the expense of the children. Shocking to western eyes that his family would support his cruel actions. Unfortunately, this has happened, too, in western society, but not as blatantly. I hope for the best for the poor children! As he created these children, he is responsible for their welfare.

  7. A very sad story, some man of Afghanistan are not honest in their love and they forget their wife,also they want to forget their children for new life and wife. I had a bad and bitter memories like this man.

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