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Latifa Nabizada - Inspiring Woman

Latifa Nabizade (born in1969) is one of the first two women pilots in Afghanistan, who qualified to fly a Mi-17 helicopter. The other was her sister, Laliuma.

They dreamt of flying even when they were little girls, looking up at the stars, and trying to 'take off' from the water butts near their house.

They were denied admission to the Afghan military school several times on 'medical grounds' (lack of an appendage, most probably) until they were finally admitted in 1989. They had to sew their own uniforms because there were no women's uniforms.

They graduated in 1991, and began flying during the Afghan Civil War. In 1996, they fled to Pakistan to evade being captured by Taliban, until its fall in 2001, when they were reinstated in the Afghan Army as Helicopter pilots.

They both got married at the same time, in 2004, got pregnant, (which they hid as long they could) and flew as long as they could in spite of it. Unfortunately, Laliuma died during childbirth, choosing her daughter's life over hers when asked by the doctor. It is equally heartbreaking and heartwarming that Latifa breastfed both their daughters. Is there greater proof of sisterhood?

Latifa started flying again, and this time, she partnered with another female pilot - her two month old daughter.

What a life, and such passion and such courage! Innumerable death threats and violence and cruel discrimination not withstanding, these women did it all.

(Note: Now, she's doing a desk job in the Afghanistan ministry of defence because...)






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