Death threats force Afghanistan's first female Air Force pilot to quit
"I started doing this job because of...serving my country...but, unfortunately, now my situation and my family's situation is, if I want to stay and if I don't quit, these people will kill some members of my family," Rahmani tells As It Happens guest host Peter Armstrong.
Rahmani expected a backlash, but lately the threats have become extreme -- and too close to home. She explains that her relatives "think I brought shame for the family, because they think I'm not a Muslim anymore."
To have her own family turn on her has been difficult. "Sometimes I was thinking if there was only the Taliban or people in this society it would be a little easier...but, unfortunately, extended family, you can't get rid of them...they know everything."
But family is also one of the reasons Rahmani decided to become a pilot.
"[My father] really wanted to be a pilot, but...he was from a poor family and no one supported him...when I grew up I decided to complete his dream."
In addition to fulfilling her father's dream, she hoped to change people's attitudes about women in her country.
Despite the severity of the threats, the Afghan Air Force has been little help.
"They just told me, "This was your decision. We never forced you to come,'" she says. "This was the very painful thing...if I had their support, maybe I would fight with all these people."
But even the lack of support has not deterred Rahmani. She is planning on temporarily relocating to the United States to begin military training. She hopes this will take the pressure off her family, but that other Afghan women will not be discouraged by her decision to leave.
"They should all stick together because, by one person, they will not get change," she says. "I just hope they will have an easy life...not the way I am dealing with it right now."