Nadia Nadim on women’s football in Afghanistan one year on from Taliban takeover
By James McQuilken
1 May 2018
Nadia Nadim, born in 1979, and her family left Afghanistan in 1992, leaving behind them the land, the future of the future, and a future generation of Afghanistan. Nadim, then a law student, was taken into the police, and later was deployed by the US Army to Kandahar in 2002.
“I am happy I left with my family to go to USA,” explains Nadim. “Now when I look back on what my family had left behind, I know that I did that to protect them from the Taliban, from the violence that they were living with.”
In September 2014, Nadim and her husband, Mohammed Sadiq Nadim, along with her three children, traveled across the border to Mazar-e Sharif, in Pakistan, where she worked for nine years in education, with three years in a high school. After nine years in Pakistan, she went to Jordan to work on a university. Six months after arriving in Jordan, she was told her status was “redundant”, and she was being transferred to Afghanistan.
“I was surprised,” says Nadim. “I never planned to go back to Afghanistan. I was born and raised in Afghanistan, where I wanted to make life better for my family. I had no intention of going back to Afghanistan.”
Nadim says that the decision to go back to Kabul was the result of the fact that her family did not have enough money, and her children missed their mother.
“I left in September 2014 [the day of the Taliban took Kabul]”, says Nadim. “I was not afraid.” She says it was her family that was terrified, not her: “When my children lost their mother, I was devastated, but I found solace in the fact that the Taliban had taken my children.”
After coming to Kabul, she married Mohammed Sadiq Nadim, whom she did not have any prior relationship with. They had two children.