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Bookfair Justin Fall 2022: Adult

We Are Still Here
Afghan Women on Courage, Freedom, and the Fight to Be Heard
Edited by: Nahid Shahalimi Foreword by: Margaret Atwood

Edited by :

Nahid Shahalimi ,

Foreword by :

Margaret Atwood


Penguin Canada



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General / adult
Aug 16, 2022
$23.00 CAD


6.84in x 4.72 x 0.55 in | 0.39 lb

Page Count:

192 pages


Penguin Canada
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Arab & Middle Eastern
A collection of first-hand accounts from courageous Afghan women who refuse to be silenced in the face of the Taliban, to be published for the first anniversary of the US leaving Afghanistan.

After decades of significant progress, the prospects of women and girls in Afghanistan are once again dependent on radical Islamists who reject gender equality. When the United States announced the end of their twenty-year occupation and the Taliban seized control of the country on August 15th, 2021, so began a steep regression of social, political, and economic freedoms for women in the country.

But just because a brutal regime has taken over doesn’t mean Afghan women will stand by while their rights are stripped away. In We Are Still Here, artist and activist Nahid Shahalimi compiles the voices of thirteen powerful, insightful, and influential Afghan women who have worked as politicians, journalists, scientists, filmmakers, artists, coders, musicians, and more. As they reflect on their country’s past, stories of their own upbringing and the ways they have been able to empower girls and women over the past two decades emerge. They report on the fear and pain caused by the impending loss of their homeland, but above all on what many girls and women in Afghanistan have already lost: freedom, self-determination, and joy.

The result is an arresting book that issues an appeal to remember Afghan girls and women and to show solidarity with them. Like us, they have a right to freedom and dignity, and together we must fight for their place in the free world because Afghanistan is only geographically distant. Extremist ideas know no limits.

FOREWORD BY MARGARET ATWOOD: Atwood describes her first visit to Afghanistan and how it inspired her to write The Handmaid’s Tale

OWN VOICES: Afghan women in Afghanistan and abroad reclaim the narrative around the past, present, and future of the country in powerful and moving essays.

VARIED PERSPECTIVES: Afghan women are not a monolith and their varied perspectives on re-orienting for the future are represented in these pages. High-profile contributors include pop star Aryana Sayeed, peacebuilder Mariam Safi, photographer Fatimah Hossaini, and politician Fawzia Koofi; activist Razia Barakzai, filmmaker Roya Sadat, and political leader Fatima Gailani have all been named BBC “Women of 2021”.

AFGHAN CANADIAN CONTRIBUTORS: Nahid Shahalimi, the editor of the collection, as well as contributors Mariam Safi and Mina Sharif, are Canadian.

STRONG INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE: The German publisher sold through 5,000 copies in just over two weeks when the book was published in December, 2021.

BLACK AND WHITE PROTRAITS THROUGHOUT: Each essay is accompanied by a portrait of its author.

NAHID SHAHALIMI was born in Afghanistan and moved to Canada with her family when she was young. Today she lives in Germany where she works as an author, artist, and social entrepreneur. In 2017 she published her first book in German, Where Courage Bears the Soul, to great acclaim. The following year she released her award-winning film We the Women of Afghanistan: A Silent Revolution. We Are Still Here is her first English language publication. 

Author Residence: Munich, Germany

Marketing: US Plans:

-Pitch to trades

-Long lead focus on women’s magazines

-Pitch for coverage in dailies including NYT, Washington Post

-Talk radio including NPR and blog/websites

-Social promotion around on sale

Author Website: nahidshahalimi.com/

“The title says it all. The Taliban may try to make Afghan women disappear, and the world may be distracted by crises in other places, but the women who have been the backbone of Afghanistan still exist; they have things to say and they need to be heard. We Are Still Here is an important book that brings together the voices of powerful, articulate, talented women who need to be allowed to do the work they’ve been called to do. It is an inspiration. It is a call to action. It is a demand for us to create a better, kinder, more just world. Thank you to all of the writers for sharing their stories.” 
Deborah Ellis, #1 bestselling author of The Breadwinner

“Provide[s] important detail and fascinating personal narratives that highlight how Afghan women and girls embraced the opportunities afforded them over the past 20 years…I remain in awe of their resilience.”

“An inspiring portrait of perseverance in the face of cruelty and injustice.” 
Publishers Weekly

“An impassioned testimony to women’s determination.” 
Kirkus Reviews

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