Before Upwardly Global:
Current Profession:
Current Employer:
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During the Afghan evacuation, we were part of the flights as requested by the US government. We were flying to Abu Dhabi and empty flight back to Kabul. Kabul was very restricted at that moment. Because everything was changing by the second. We did not have direct communication with the US military. And if you don’t have US military clearance, you cannot land in Kabul. We hold a little bit over Kabul. They say you don’t have permission so go to alternate. We go to alternate airport and land. At that moment, there was a blast at Kabul International Airport. All flights was stopped for a couple of days.

There was a chance for my family to leave but Kam Air wants me to stay. They said my family can leave and they will take me to wherever my family is in the future. But my wife was pregnant seven months. I did not want to be far from my family. It was my first baby. Kam Air helped me become a pilot and I would love to fly with them up to the end of my life. But with the situation, I need to think about my family: my parents, my wife, my sisters.

I contact one US military guy, he told me all flights are going to Abu Dhabi or Qatar where US operates. Once we get cleared in Abu Dhabi, we land in Virginia. We worked with IRC, the International Rescue Committee, for our paperwork. The guy asked me what I do back home. I said pilot and I have FAA license. He was surprised, saying “We have a lot of pilots here, but most of them don’t have proper documents. But it seems like you have your documents so reach out to Upwardly Global.”

I connected with Upwardly Global and they helped me with training to get a job, write my resume, search for careers, interviewing. They will help me know if my FAA license will let me fly now or if I need some more training. I may need a different job before I fly again. But it will be temporary. Because Upwardly Global is helping me understand how I can continue to be a pilot in the US. It will take time, but I believe I will fly again. Because I love flying.


Read more of Hafiz’s story here.