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 human rights activist, 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 in arts and humanitarianism began in her college & university days where she studied Fine Arts and Politics & South East Asian studies with a specialization in human rights. However, it was the witnessing of 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 are reflected in all that she does.
From 2014-2018 Nahid travelled 19 times across Afghanistan collecting inspiring stories of hope and courage from women who are great testaments of resilience, which she collated in her book, “Where courage bears the soul: We the women of Afghanistan”: Tales of courageous & inspiring Afghan women published in 2017 by Elisabeth Sandmann Publishing. This is 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 successes 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 it’s promotion tour which kicked off on 8th March 2018, with a special World Premier 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 honour of painting an interpretation of the most expensive Audrey Hepburn stamp, authorised 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 international 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’ most 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.
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.
Last but not least, Nahid is currently the executive producer of the ongoing international project “Corona Contemporary Witnesses”; collecting and documenting in film and in photos via zoom, stories of humans from all corners of the world since March 2020, the beginning of the pandemic. She is also working on her next book with Elisabeth Sandmann Publishing; the first phase of a large-scale national project in Germany: Photographing and collecting stories of 100 inspiring youth and young adults; coming in 2022.