Nadia Nadim to be new ambassador for DRCFootball star Nadia Nadim will be a new ambassador for DRC. Nadia Nadim was forced to flee from Afghanistan when she was a child. And now she dreams of giving other children on the run hope and belief.
She has gone from being a little girl in the streets of Kabul to becoming a world-famous football star. From kicking the ball at the asylum centre in football shoes that were too small to scoring goals in the biggest stadiums in the world. She is persistent, tough and thankful for the life she has made in Denmark.
Now she has been appointed ambassador for DRC where she hopes to be a role model and inspire other refugee children to follow their dreams as well.
From the war in Kabul to the asylum centre in Northern Jutland
Nadia Nadim still remembers the sound of bombs that time and time again sent the family running for the air-raid shelter beneath their apartment in Kabul.
One day her father did not return from his post as a high-ranking general in the army. The Taliban had abducted him and brutally executed him in the desert. Nadia Nadim was 10 years old.
“It was incredibly tough. You didn’t know what tomorrow would bring. You didn’t even know if you’d be alive,” explains Nadia Nadim.
After the father’s execution, Nadia Nadim fled with her mother and four sisters. Chance brought them to Denmark where Nadia Nadim spent a part of her childhood in an asylum centre on the outskirts of Aalborg.
It was here that Nadia Nadim and her sisters really started to spend hours and hours juggling, dribbling and kicking all the footballs they came into contact with.
Football is good integration
Nadia Nadim believes that sport is an obvious way to help children with a refugee background quickly become part of the Danish society.
“A team is all about getting the most out of everyone. You need everybody if you want to win. No matter what their skin colour, background or faith is,” says Nadia Nadim.
For Nadia Nadim, football meant that she quickly learned the language and became part of the community. It was also an interest that later led her to big clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain just like she in 2009 became the first Danish national team player with a refugee background.
“It is great to be able to show other young girls with refugee backgrounds that it’s possible. I hope my story can inspire them and make them strive for the top,” says Nadia Nadim.
A heart that beats for refugee children
The superstar Nadia Nadim has not forgotten the little Afghan girl that used to run around the asylum centre in shoes that didn’t fit. On the contrary, she is reminded of her when she sees new refugee children coming to Denmark.
“My heart really beats for these children. Because I know exactly how they are feeling and what they need,” she says.
That is also why it was easy for Nadia Nadim to accept her role as an ambassador for DRC. She hopes that she can give refugee children hope and help show the way forward.
“I want to be someone that makes a difference for others. And therefore, it is a great honour to be an ambassador for DRC,” says Nadia Nadim.
- Born 1988 in Afghanistan with her mother and four sisters Giti, Diana, Muskan and Muidja
- Came to Denmark as a 12-year-old and became a Danish citizen in 2008
- Became the first refugee in the Danish national team in 2009
- Has played for B52 Aalborg, IK Skovbakken, Fortuna Hjørring, Sky Blue FC, Portland Thorns FC, Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain.
- Is currently completing her education as a doctor
- Was voted the Dane of the year by Berlingske in 2017
- - Her book “My story” was published in 2018