On Thursday, on the eve of her scheduled return to Afghanistan from a 15-month training course at Air Force bases in Texas, Florida and Arkansas, Captain Rahmani broke a sobering piece of news to her American trainers. She still wants to be a military pilot, but not under her country’s flag. This summer, she filed a petition seeking asylum in the United States, where she hopes to eventually join the Air Force.
“Things are not changing” for the better in Afghanistan, Captain Rahmani said in an interview on Friday. “Things are getting worse and worse.”
At work in Afghanistan, she said, she felt unsafe because most of her male colleagues held her in contempt. Still, she put on a brave face during the early months of her training in the United States, which began in September 2015.
But that resolve has eroded in recent months. The Afghan Air Force stopped paying her salary shortly after the American training program began, Captain Rahmani said. When female workers at an airport in southern Afghanistan were slain this month, she was horrified to hear some members of Parliament quoted as saying the women would have been safe if they had stayed at home.
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