Niloofar Rahmani, First Afghani Female Pilot, Applies For Asylum In The United States [VIDEOS]

Niloofar Rahmani, First Afghani Female Pilot, Applies For Asylum In The United States [VIDEOS]

Niloofar Rahmani, First Afghani Female Pilot, Applies For Asylum In The United States [VIDEOS]

All the world over, people are gathering with their loved ones and children are eagerly waiting to find out what Santa will deliver in the morning. But not everyone is. In fact many are living in fear. Those persecuted by ISIS fall into that category. As do women who dared step outside the extraordinarily strict guidelines set by religion, tradition, custom, and Taliban rules. One woman, who has made advances previously unheard of prior to 9/11, is one living in fear.

As the first female airplane pilot in Afghanistan, Niloofar Rahmani became a powerful symbol of what women could accomplish in the post-Taliban era. But in the ultraconservative country, the limelight also brought threats, sending her into hiding from insurgents and vengeful relatives.

Now, more than three years after she earned her wings, the 25-year-old Afghan air force pilot hopes to start a new life in the U.S. where she has applied for asylum, saying her life would be in danger if she returns home.

Who is Niloofar Rahmani?

She’s someone who has ALWAYS wanted to fly.

She is someone who knows women can do more.

“I would just want to encourage all of the females around the world, especially in my country where the females have no rights, to just believe in themselves and to have more self-confidence,” Captain Rahmani told an American military journalist in March 2015 during a visit to a Marine Corps air station.

The following videos give you a sense of who she is.

Her success in the face of extraordinary odds warranted a great deal of attention and awards.

Including the Women of Courage award from the State Department in 2015. 

“She continues to fly despite threats from the Taliban and even members of her own extended family,” the first lady, Michelle Obama, said in a statement.

Rahmani has continued to fly. In fact she just received her C-130 certification. But the danger for her and her family has multiplied. Since her work as a pilot became public around the world, Rahmani and her family have faced numerous threats. Her brother was nearly killed, her family has had to move numerous times, distant family members want her punished, and the direct threats from the Taliban have gotten worse.

Rahmani’s superiors in the Afghan military have supported her wholeheartedly right? WRONG. In fact, they have encouraged her to quit the military and quit flying altogether. 

Does her fear of the threats against her and her family meet the criteria of asylum? Niloofar Rahmani must show that her persecution along the lines of race, religion, politics, membership in a social group, or nationality is well founded. Is her own country putting her in danger? If they are not acting in her best interest in keeping her and her family safe, then perhaps she has an argument for asylum. If it is true that her superiors would rather she quit because she’s “trouble,” then she might have an argument.

We all know that women have been a nonentity in Afghanistan for centuries. Its well known that any woman who has stepped out of line in Afghanistan (according to culture and/or the Taliban) faces punishment, physical maiming, or even death.

Niloofar wants to fly. Flying has been her dream. If Niloofar Rahmani stays in Afghanistan, would she be able to fulfill her dream of flying? The odds are slim given the culture and history of that country.

Let us remember that, although this is the season of good will and peace towards men, not all are peaceful and not all are safe.

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4 Comments
  • Theosebes Goodfellow says:

    I say she is more than welcome, with one caveat. She must, by her own accord, renounce Islam publicly before being given asylum. Especially if she wants to continue flying here.
    Islam is fascism. She must openly declare that she is either for it or against it. There is no middle ground.

  • J Walter says:

    I’d ask where are the feminists to support her, go to A-stan and teach men not to rape. Oh that’s right they are busy trying to ban the word bossy.

  • Katy says:

    What’s wrong with staying home, raising a family, being a good wife?

    • Nina says:

      Absolutely nothing… IF its a choice she would be allowed to make. However, in Afghanistan the culture doesn’t give her the opportunity to have or even make that choice.

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