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Female Afghan Pilot Gives Birth In United Arab Emirates

A group of Afghan pilots prepare to leave Tajikistan for the United Arab Emirates on November 9.

An Afghan female pilot who was pregnant when she flew from Tajikistan to the United Arab Emirates last month with other U.S.-trained Afghan pilots and crew members has given birth to a baby boy.

The pilot, 27, was one of 143 who arrived on November 10 in Abu Dhabi after months of uncertainty about their final destination. They had fled Afghanistan to Tajikistan on August 15 and spent more than three months in the country.

One of the pilot’s colleagues told RFE/RL on December 9 that the baby was born a week ago and that both mother and baby were in good health.

The U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan said last month that the pilots were among 191 Afghan evacuees who were to fly to the U.A.E. and be processed before being granted immigration rights to the United States.

The pilots and crew members have all received COVID-19 vaccines and were looking forward to traveling to the United States, the pilot's colleague told RFE/RL, adding the exact date of their departure is still unknown.

The woman who gave birth is one of two female pilots in the group. She had been hospitalized twice while in Tajikistan.

The pilots played an important role in the war against the Taliban, flying alongside U.S. pilots and conducting air strikes against Taliban positions.

The U.S. war ended in August, with a chaotic withdrawal of all American forces. The Taliban-led government has said that the pilots would not be in danger if they return, but the pilots are skeptical and no longer see Afghanistan as safe.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL’s Tajik Service