Meet Afghanistan’s 1st female pilot who doesn’t get threatened with Taliban’s frequent death threats

This woman defies all the rules laid by men for women.

Breaking all stereotypes and defying death threats from Taliban, 23-year-old Niloofar Rahmani is the first female fixed-wing Air Force aviator ever in Afghanistan’s history since 2001. Niloofar along with other 9 powerful and inspirational women has been honoured with the U.S Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award 2015.

niloofar in cargo


“Now my goal is to help my country have a bright future and stand up for females. I helped break down the doors for them after me.”

Afghan Air Force Milestone


Since being a kid, Niloofar has always dreamed of becoming and pilot. She took up learning English so she could attend flight school. Niloofar enrolled herself in the Afghan Air Force Officer Training Program in 2010 and graduated as a Second Lieutenant in 2012. Soon after she flew her first aircraft, she decided she wanted to fly larger cargoes. So, she joined advanced flight school and flew C-208 military cargo aircraft.

ist afghan pilot -female


Even though women were not allowed to fly with dead or wounded soldiers, Captain refused to take such orders when she found injured soldiers during a mission. She took the soldiers to the hospital and later, told her seniors about her action. Soon after her brave acts got public attention, Niloofar began receiving death threats. 

niloofar rahmani


Niloofar still carries on with her profession and wants to inspire other women. 

“You can’t just see yourself as a woman, but as a human and believe in yourself. It was not easy finishing flight school, it was very hard, but someone had to accept the risk so that other women can do what they dream.” source (WKTR)

First Lady, Michelle Obama honored Niloofar’s bravery and strengths with the award last week. 

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