Nadia Nadim plays tonight for the Danish Nation Women’s Soccer Team in Euro2017 but her story to get there is one of human resilience to overcome.
At age 10, growing up in Afghanistan, the Taliban took her father and executed him in the desert and eventually her mother would have to find a way to get their family out of the country.
“My mom wanted us to have the best possible future, so she hired a human smuggler.”
Nadia found herself in a refugee camp in Denmark, one of the growing multitudes of people in forced migration, trying to redefine home.
Girls weren’t allowed to play sports but in the refugee camp she began to learn the game of soccer, the global language. This would set her on a trajectory to eventually play for the Portland women’s team in the United States and now the national team in Denmark.
But Nadia’s story doesn’t end there: she is pursuing her Medical School degree and has big dreams of making a difference in people’s lives. “THERE ARE MOMENTS in my life when someone did a little thing from their side, but it had a huge impact on me. And I know as a doctor, I’ll be able to do that for other people,” said Nadia.
When we see the passion on her face, it tells a story of living despite life’s tremendous setbacks. I see the loss of her father in the screams on the pitch, I see the journey into the unknowns of a refugee camp heading into her past as I imagine her running around tonight, free.
The human spirit is resilient and has boundless capacity to find light through the darkness of life’s possible realities. May we collectively join Nadia in being that light in the world.
Photo credit #2: Henning Bagger
Humanitarian. Global Project Developer. Father.
Alok helps clients all over the world build emotional brand stories, websites, and projects that make the world a better place. He believes in the power of humanity to uplift those in need, is moved by stories of human resiliency and our collective ability to overcome tremendous obstacles together. www.Alok.Life