“As a young Afghan woman who dreamed of becoming an air force pilot, Niloofar Rahmani confronted far more than technical challenges; she faced the opprobrium of an entire society.” —Pamela Constable, author of Playing with Fire and former Kabul and Islamabad bureau chief for the Washington Post
The true story of Niloofar Rahmani and her determination to become Afghanistan’s first female air force pilot—as seen on Anderson Cooper and ABC News
In 2010, for the first time since the Soviets, Afghanistan allowed women to join the armed forces, and Rahmani entered Afghanistan’s military academy.
Rahmani had to break through social barriers to demonstrate confidence, leadership, and decisiveness—essential qualities for a pilot. She performed the first solo flight of her class—ahead of all her male classmates—and in 2013 became Afghanistan’s first female fixed-wing air force pilot.
The US State Department honored Rahmani with the International Women of Courage Award and brought her to the United States to meet Michelle Obama and fly with the US Navy’s Blue Angels. But when she returned to Kabul, the danger to her and her family had increased significantly.
Rahmani and her family are portraits of the resiliency of refugees and the accomplishments they can reach when afforded with opportunities