Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir was born in 1978 in Twi Malik, Sulaimani. He has graduated from the Engineering Department of Sulaimani University. He is now married and has three children.

Abdulwahid’s family had owned a kebab shop in Sulaimani and, in the 1980s, he began working with his father. 

“I learned to work and operate businesses from an early age. I had my first business at the age of 15. While working I also studied and did not abandon my education,” said Abdulwahid.

In 2007, Abdulwahid established Nalia Company, which first invested in real estate starting with housing projects such as German Village 1, 2, and 3, Nali City, and then others (Kurdcity 1 and 2). Following the success of those projects, he turned into media.  

In 2010, he established Nalia Media Company, which now has four satellite channels in Kurdish (NRT, NRT2, NRT3, and NRT4). Another channel, NRT Arabic, was also a successful TV station until in October 2019, during the anti-government protests in Baghdad, its offices were ransacked by an armed group and forced off-air. 

In 2013, he launched Chavy Land amusement project in Sulaimani, which is a major tourism hotspot for locals and visitors.

NRT TV has faced multiple threats including burning down its HQ in Sulaimani in 2011 following the anti-government demonstrations (only three days following its launch).  

NRT channels are still influential and trusted among Kurdish audience for speaking the truth and pointing out the many shortcomings people face in the Kurdistan Region. 

Abdulwahid then entered politics in 2017, during the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum. He led the “No For Now” campaign, which argued that the timing for the referendum was wrong from a political and economic standpoint. 

In 2018, he established the New Generation Movement, which was able to secure four seats in Iraq’s Council of Representatives in its first election in May 2018 and eight seats in Kurdistan Parliament in regional elections in September 2018, becoming the fourth largest grouping out of 40 political parties in the Kurdistan Parliament.

Abdulwahid has been arrested three times since the referendum in 2017: at the end of 2017, he was accused of inciting demonstrations; in March 2019, he was accused of insulting government employees; and, in May 2019, he was accused of misusing mobile technologies. 

He and his supporters have argued that these arrests were politically motivated, noting that he has had prominent companies, businesses, and TV channels since 2007 but was not never arrested until 2017 when he became an influential political player on the side of the opposition. 

Abdulwahid’s New Generation now has an outspoken opposition group in the Kurdistan Parliament, which constantly monitors the works of the government and offer serious feedback and criticism on the political system in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.