Nahid Shahalimi lives in Munich, Germany with her two daughters. Forced to leave Afghanistan in 1985, Nahid and her family moved to
Canada where she was raised before shifting to Munich where she solidified her career as an author, a social entrepreneur, an international consultant on Gender, a former professional athlete, a filmmaker, and one of the most prolific international artists in the art world today. Nahid’s passion for arts and humanitarianism began in her college & university days when she studied Fine Arts and Politics & South East Asian studies with a specialization in human rights. However, it was witnessing the destruction of her country under the Soviet occupation as a child that ignited within Nahid the passion to devote her life to promoting peace, tolerance, respect, and acceptance. The synergy between her various personal and professional experiences is reflected in all that she does.
Despite supporting Afghan women and girls for over two decades, Nahid began traveling across Afghanistan in 2011 to collect stories of hope and courage from women who are remarkable examples of resilience. She compiled these in her book, "Where courage bears the soul: We the women of Afghanistan": Tales of courageous & inspiring Afghan women, released by Elisabeth Sandmann Publishing in 2017. This is a continuation of a creative global series Nahid began in 2009 with “We The Women”: a collection of inspiring stories of courageous and resilient women from around the world told through 3 creative pillars involving portrait paintings, books, and documentary films. “We the Women of Germany” was the first of this series and gained immense success following its Portrait painting exhibitions that took place between 2009- 2014, where 100% of its proceeds were donated to UNICEF’s projects in Afghanistan. Nahid recently finished working on “We the Women of Afghanistan: a silent revolution” a multiple-award-winning documentary film with its promotion tour which kicked off on 8th March 2018, with a special World Premiere screening at the UN German Mission, the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City.
Nahid is also an avid philanthropist and donates proceeds of her paintings and creative global projects to humanitarian causes close to her heart. Her paintings have been auctioned at prestigious events worldwide; At the “Pink Ribbon Ball” in 2009 and again in 2014 were paintings donated to support the Breast Cancer Campaign England. In 2008, Nahid started the “Kinder
malen für Kinder” (kids painting for kids) project which saw her showcase a collection of work done in collaboration with her daughter and dozens of other children at the renowned Haus der Kunst museum in Munich, and auctioned the collection and donated all proceeds to UNICEF’s Polio Vaccine projects in Africa. In 2010, Shahalimi was given the honor of painting an interpretation of the most expensive Audrey Hepburn stamp, authorized by the Chair of Audrey Hepburn Society at US Fund for UNICEF and an Ambassador for EURORDIS, Sean Hepburn F. The painting was auctioned in Berlin with all funds donated to AHCF and UNICEF International’s educational projects worldwide. In 2012, Nahid in collaboration with the German Football Association (DFB) was given exclusive access to the German national soccer team players and coaches, 2014 World Cup Winners, to paint portraits of the entire team for the “German Soccer for Life-2012” initiative, raising awareness & funds for UNICEF’s “Let Us Learn” Afghanistan & DFB foundation projects.
In addition, Nahid is the founder of the campaign, “Stand up For Unity” which promotes unity through diversity. The campaign travels around the world raising awareness by gaining endorsements from renowned figures including His Holiness Dalai Lama and others. Its’ recent activities include the “Stand Up For Unity Masks” – community project (2020) during the early phases of COVID-19, empowerment through mental training in sports, and NFT exhibitions.
Furthermore, Nahid actively supports and provides consultations to several international foundations. She is an active member of UNICEF Germany’s National Committee and she is the founder and chairwoman of Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Afghanistan (active since 2007). Another area of her expertise: Nahid consults and builds empowerment & sustainability programs/seminars for international institutions, which she offers in four languages: English, French, German, and Dari.
Presently, Shahalimi works with high-ranking officials and steering committees for Afghan Women Defenders, curates NFT exhibition series in the Metaverses, and recently authored a bestseller entitled Wir Sind Noch Da! The book was originally published in German in November 2021 by Elisabeth Sandmann Verlag. This book includes first-hand accounts written by courageous Afghan women experts following the fall of Kabul (August 2021). Penguin Random House is to publish the book one year after the withdrawal of US-led forces from Afghanistan.
Shahalimi's social impact company, We the Women, is one of the few organizations in Afghanistan that provide scholarships to Afghan women and girls for higher education through a private, all-female educational complex. Shahalimi has overseen and monitored every aspect of the Afghan project tirelessly with partners on the ground since the fall of Kabul in 2021. Her Afghanistan projects have often remained anonymous due to security concerns.