“I feel so very fortunate to live in Canada. I’m determined to get a great education and build a successful career in order to help my parents, sisters, and other people in need. I love traveling and learning new languages and more about the world. I also really love children, especially the moments when they smile. I am interested in policy and law-making that can help protect my people, and all people, so no one has to suffer the way I did. I have seen too many people suffer.”

My name is Shaima Farzan Nasiri. I am 18-years-old and come from Bamyan, Afghanistan. I started cycling in 2018 and became one of 18 women cyclists on the Oquib cycling team. I graduated from high school and planned for university. I dreamed of becoming an athlete and professional cyclist in the future. But when the Taliban took over my country on August 15, 2021, I worried about my safety. With the help of kind international supporters, I was able to escape. My parents and siblings are still stuck in Afghanistan. My father is a shopkeeper, and my mother is a housewife. I have five older sisters and two younger sisters still in school. I also have one younger brother. From September 6th onwards, my teammates and I lived as refugees at an international aid hub called Humanitarian City in Abu Dhabi. I finally moved to Calgary, Canada, and I’ve been living here for about two months.

- Shaima Farzan Nasiri