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Femininity, Empowerment and Headwear

Posted on 28 March 2017

Meet Afrah...

"The last time I was in Iran was 5 months ago. It seems like an eternity. Not just because I miss my home country, but also because I love traveling.

When I was very young, my greatest dream was to become a pilot. I nurtured that dream for a long time. At one point, my mother told me that she wouldn’t be able to handle it if I became a pilot, because what if something happened to me? What if I was in a plane crash, she used to say. She was right. I wouldn’t allow myself to take a step outside, while she was there, worrying about me. Thus, the dream was replaced by another. I discovered that I would like to be an air traffic controller, and I still have that dream. I have had that dream since I was in the 10th grade, and I want to thank my guidance counselor for that. It was her suggestion, and it has meant a lot to me. I applied to be an air traffic controller at NATS in England, and I had to make it through 3 tests. Fortunately, they were completed. I passed!

I called around and wrote to airports in Denmark to inquire about getting an internship with them, so I could get a better idea of what it’s like being an air traffic controller. I managed to get an internship in Kaarup (Jutland) in the air force, and I got to be an air traffic controller for an entire week, as well as being in the fire department. In the beginning, people gave me a lot of strange looks because of my scarf, and because I didn’t look like the others. They probably never saw it coming that a girl with a scarf would find her way into the air force. I ended up being allowed to fly in a fighter plane called the T17, and I was lucky enough to steer it while we were flying.

Hijab - Turban - Helen Latifi

In connection with education and work, I have had many challenges, where I have run into professional teachers who didn’t back me up like they really should have, but I never gave up, and I will keep fighting until some day when I apply for admission to my education after finishing my current office administration training."

Afrah Al-Jabouri
Office administration student specializing in public administration

Photo: Asim Iqbal
Designer: Helen Latifi 
Proofreading: Nicklas Burman
Translator: Lisbeth Agerskov Christensen
Headwear: Jasmin Classy Navy

The portrait series "Femininity, Empowerment, and Headwear” is a collaboration between Helen Latifi Headwear and United Colors of Denmark

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