The first Afghan female pilot: “My father lost his job and my brother was about to be murdered”
Arabic channel Al Jazeera published the interview with the first female aviator in Afghanistan Niloofar Rahmani. She is the first and the only female aviator in the Middle East. Local men find this quite extraordinary and are not very pleased with it.
After the publication, the woman was criticized and even threatened. Moreover, her male colleagues gossiped about her and spread nasty rumours about her.
Niloofar received threats both from her conservative relatives and radical Islamists. Regrettably, the threats were not idle and somebody shot at her brother when he was on the way back from the university. Her father lost his job. His co-workers told him that his daughter brought shame on herself.
Rahmani tried to seek support from the Afghan Air Force, but they only said that it was her own decision and they never forced her to come.
It is even more surprising that Rahmani managed to achieve a lot under such difficult circumstances. She was the only female pilot in the Afghan Air Force in 2012. Her courage was recognized and she was awarded with the International Women of Courage Award by the American president’s wife Michelle Obama in 2015. This put the Talibs into rage.
The only people who supported the young pilot were female foreigners who she met at her studies. Rahmani liked the American and British girls for their free thinking and independence.
Due to Niloofar’s impeccable approach to her work duties, her colleagues have started to change their mind about her. Yet, there are still quite a lot of negative aspects at work. Partly because of this, the young woman does not seem to be eager to build some romantic relations. She met quite a few dishonest men at her work and this puts he down.
There will be more women in the army in the future. The Americans support the Afghan army financially. Their target is to have about five thousand women in the army in a decade.