"Queen of Baluchistan"
January 18, 2008 11:20 AM   Subscribe

"Jennifer Musa, who has died aged 90, was an Irishwoman of modest stock who took over from her husband as head of a tribe in the remote borderlands of Baluchistan; unveiled and uncompromising, she dedicated her life to the conservative Muslim tribesmen among whom she lived for 60 years until her death." 1992 New York Times interview. 1995 interview with The Independent. 2006 interview. Another 2006 interview.
posted by Kattullus (14 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
That lady was about 100 times more hard core than I will ever hope to be. Amazing.

posted by absalom at 11:33 AM on January 18, 2008

Hell of an innings she had too.
posted by Abiezer at 11:44 AM on January 18, 2008

Ashraf Qazi, Jennifer Musa's son, is a high-flying diplomat.
posted by Kattullus at 11:50 AM on January 18, 2008

Whoops! Total cock-up. The last link and the second to last link are duplicates. What I meant to post as the second link was this 2001 Telegraph interview but I got distracted and lax and so here I am, with copious egg on my face.
posted by Kattullus at 11:59 AM on January 18, 2008

"You can't liberate women until you liberate men"

What a great quote of hers!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:00 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Rather, "what I meant to post as the last link"

Oh well... that's what happens when you can't see what you comment because of all that egg on your face.
posted by Kattullus at 12:01 PM on January 18, 2008

sigh... "second-to-last"

I think I'll go crawl into an eggy hole now.
posted by Kattullus at 12:09 PM on January 18, 2008

Don't worry Kattullus, it's still a great post. I'd never heard of her, what a story.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:29 PM on January 18, 2008

now that's a movie i'd like to see.

scratch that... they'd probably cast Nicole Kidman.
posted by RedEmma at 3:52 PM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]

Thanks. An amazing woman and a fascinating life.
posted by Devils Slide at 6:40 PM on January 18, 2008

Appreciated. I had no idea she existed--the very life she led sounds like something out of a romance novel--and am sorry that she died because it sounds like the region could use more of her ilk.
posted by librarylis at 3:50 AM on January 19, 2008

What an amazing, amazing woman.
posted by hadjiboy at 7:05 AM on January 19, 2008

Fascinating story, thank you Kattullus.
posted by ceri richard at 8:18 AM on January 19, 2008

Marvelous, inspiring, uplifting story of Jennifer Musa's life. Can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks Kattullus.

During my years in India, '75 to '85, there were a number of foreigners, some quite elderly some not, who were either single or who married an Indian and over the years became an active, constructive part of the local community. Some were quite eccentric but still appreciated. Among them are Robert Geesink, a superb painter; one who I didn't know but only heard about while I was living nearby, Ernst Lothar Hoffman, who became Lama Govinda; the awesomel Freda Bedi, who became Sister Palmo, founded the Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie, became politically active all through India's Independence and remembered fondly by a number of lamas who then went West; a dear friend, Florence Rastogi, a French poet, author and artist of great heart, who has, among other community endeavors, worked for years with leprosy patients around Dehra Dun; Beryl, one of the founding staff at Lady Willingdon Hospital on the Indo-Tibetan border from the days when the Kulu Valley was considered The End of the Habitable World.

I think each of us can be an active, constructive part of our community, whether it is 'ordinary' in the eyes of others or 'exotic'. As Mohammad Rafi sung so charmingly:
”Although we hail from different lands,
We share one earth, and sky, and sun,
Remember friends, the world is one…”

My condolences to her son, Ashraf Qazi, apparently also an amazing human being with a mind to greater peace and good in the world.
posted by nickyskye at 2:24 PM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

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