Niloofar Rahmani, former afghan air force captain granted asylum in U.S.

Niloofar Rahmani, Former Afghan Air Force captain granted Asylum in U.S.

Niloofar Rahmani is Afghanistan’s first female airplane pilot.

In 2013, Rahmani graduated from pilot school and became Afghanistan’s first female airplane pilot. While this might be exciting news for many, Rahmani began facing death threats shortly after her graduation.

While death threats might be nightmares for those living in a peaceful environment, this was not the case for Rahman. Not only was she facing death threats from Taliban insurgency in her country. Rahmani was also facing death threats from her cousins and uncles who took Rahmani’s career choice as an insult and shameful. In return, they wanted to punish Rahmani to avenge their family honor. Also facing death threats are Rahmani’s parents and siblings who supported her career path. The whole family now hide for survival.

“We are very pleased that Niloofar was granted asylum,” said Kimberley Motley, Rahmani’s U.S. lawyer. She adds, saying, “Her life would be at grave risk if she were forced to return to back to Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan has been facing a difficult time. It has been more than 16 years of war and things are still perilous in the country. Rahmani’s parents are still in Afghanistan and her close family members are not safe.

Rahmani has gone above and beyond to do the best she can in life.

Niloofar Rahmani, Former Afghan Air Force captain granted Asylum in U.S.
Niloofar Rahmani (Left) and Basma Alawee (Right), Florida Delegate at Refugee Congress and member of the RCO Hall of Fame

Niloofar Rahmani has become a symbol for women’s advancement during the war in her home country. In 2015, the U.S military brought her to America to help her escape death threats.

Though the U.S. military paid for her training, they also understand the challenges that come with Rahmani’s return to Afghanistan. After her training aboard C-130 transport aircraft in the U.S. Rahmani’s hoped to be granted an asylum to stay in the United States.

Today, Rahmani has been granted an asylum to stay in America!

Rahmani describes her experience, saying, “I can finally live my life in peace. Now all my worries are about my family in Afghanistan.”

Refugees shaking hands

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The Refugee Center Online Hall of Fame features refugees and immigrants from around the United States who are making a difference in their communities. At the Refugee Center Online, we believe newcomers make our country a better place. The individuals we feature show exactly that - they are examples of how immigrants and refugees contribute to our country. If you are interested in being featured or would like to nominate an individual to be featured in our Hall of Fame, email: