In 2013, Rahmani became Afghanistan's first female fixed-wing air force pilot. Here she narrates the difficult path to this victory—from her childhood in Kabul, to her family fleeing as refugees to Pakistan in the 1990s, to their return to Afghanistan under the brutal Taliban regime, to the misogynistic danger she faced even after the Taliban's rule.
Niloofar’s story is one of extreme resilience, of fighting a system and a culture that essentially despises women. I have reported in more than 60 countries, and Afghanistan is the most misogynistic country I have ever worked in ... Open Skies is not a literary masterpiece—it reads like it was written for a TV mini-series—nor does it provide a detailed picture of the country’s years of conflict. But it is a basic primer—Afghanistan 101—and it paints a moving portrait of an extraordinarily brave young woman determined to succeed.
... [a] compelling account ... extraordinary events make for gripping reading, but the book is often hampered by repetition and cliché. But the story comes alive when Rahmani includes specific details ... it’s impossible not to admire Rahmani and marvel at her courage.
In this timely, compelling, and important title, Afghanistan’s first female fixed-wing pilot details her struggle to serve her country ... Rahmani...does not sugarcoat the perils of life for Afghan women ... It is impossible to not share in Rahmani’s frustration and fury as she recounts the continuous roadblocks her fellow Afghans placed in her way. Not simply an inspiring title, this is a memoir of devastation and determination that brings the country’s trials into sharp focus.