| ||After slaying, family begins to rebuild life in Afghanistan|
Contra Costa Times
By Matthew Artz
[Printer Friendly Version]
Ex-Fremont man, whose wife was killed, says six kids are still grieving
FREMONT - Ahmad Ansari has no regrets about moving his six children to Afghanistan and taking a new bride shortly after his wife, Alia Ansari, was slain last October.
"I took them to a different environment so they could heal," said Ansari, who is visiting family in Milpitas this week.
Speaking in slightly accented English, Ansari told reporters assembled at Centerville Presbyterian Church on Friday that he would return to the United States when his children were ready.
"They are American kids," he said.
The family is living in the home of Ansari's father in Mazar-e-Sharif, a city in Northern Afghanistan.
Ansari, 40, who worked at an auto repair shop when the family lived in a two-bedroom Fremont apartment, is now a stay-at-home dad. "I'm there (for my kids) 24 hours ... day and night."
He said he and his children, now ages 4 through 14, enjoy living in Afghanistan, but they are still grieving.
"I am in darkness still," Ansari said. "I can't be happy because my kids are not in a state of happiness."
Exactly a year ago Friday, 38-year-old Alia Ansari was fatally shot in the face as she walked with her 3-year-old daughter on Glenmoor Avenue in Fremont.
The unexplained killing of a woman wearing a Muslim headscarf shocked the Fremont community, which prides itself on its diversity and ethnic tolerance.
Donations totaling more than $70,000 poured into an account set up for the family, Ansari said.
"Everyone (in Fremont) has been beautiful," he said.
The family is living on a portion of the donations, but most of it, Ansari said, has gone to buy land in a central market district of their new home city.
At one point during the 90-minute news conference, video was shown of Ansari's wedding to his new 20-year-old wife Zarina, a distant relative.
Ansari, who did not see his new bride until after the union was arranged, said remarrying was in his family's best interests.
"We needed a home, and a home needs a homemaker and the backbone of that is a wife," he said.
His children, who were smiling in the wedding video, have taken to his new spouse, he added. "They are calling her every two seconds, 'mom, mom,'" he said. The couple, he added, plan to have children of their own.
Ansari, who expects to return to Afghanistan next week, said he has been updated on the prosecution of Manuel David Urango, who has been charged with murder and is scheduled to stand trial next year in connection with Alia Ansari's killing.
"I'll let the law of this land deal with this person," he said. "There is no justice that would bring my wife back."
Alia Ansari was buried amid tall grass about a six-minute walk from the family's home in Afghanistan.
"I go myself and pray," Ansari said.
Meanwhile his children, who in a different home video were wearing western clothes, are attending school, and, Ansari said, enjoying learning a different culture.
"Life is beginning to be normal," he said. "We take it one day at a time, but it is difficult."
Reach Matthew Artz of the Fremont Argus. He can be reached at 510-353-7002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To honor Alia Ansari, the Rev. Bruce Green is starting a project to build a soccer field in Mazar-e-Sharif as well as a college fund for the Ansari children. For more information about either, contact Green at 510-793-3575, Ext. 40, or e-mail him at email@example.com. Additional information about the soccer field project is available at http://firstname.lastname@example.org.