Col Latifa Nabizada, the first female pilot in the Afghan air force, has battled prejudice, the Taliban and personal tragedy – but her ambitions for her young daughter soar even higher. Latifa Nabizada often shares her cockpit with her daughter – “She has grown up in a helicopter,” she says
As soon as they finished school, Latifa and her sister Laliuma told their parents that they wanted to be professional pilots. “They were quite shocked.” Latifa and Laliuma were repeatedly denied admission to the Afghan military school on medical grounds, but they eventually joined in 1989 after being certified fit by a civilian doctor. No women’s uniforms existed, so they made their own. “We were the first two women pilots in Afghan air force history”, she said to BBC.
She remembers her first flight as an unforgettable experience. “This is what you get after all that hard work.”
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