Soman Noori, 26, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Saturday while on a Turkish Airlines flight fleeing Afghanistan. The plane, which was halfway between Dubai and Birmingham at the time, was set to land in the U.K. Baby Havva couldn’t wait that long and the pregnant mother began having contractions on board.
According to reports, there was no doctor on the plane. Under the chaotic conditions, airline staff was forced to assist Soman Noori through labor. When the baby finally arrived, the airplane was somewhere in Kuwait airspace, about 30,000 feet above land.
Havva was Noori’s third baby, reports claimed. She and her husband, Taj Mohammad, have two sons who were with them on the flight. Havva’s name translates to Eve, though it’s not clear why the couple chose it.
Soman Noori and her family had escaped Kabul after the city fell to Taliban rule. She, her husband, and their two kids evacuated to Dubai. The commercial flight took off from Dubai and was expected to land in the United Kingdom sometime Saturday morning.
Once the baby was born, the plane landed in Kuwait as a precaution. After the brief pit stop, the plane continued its route to Birmingham and landed at 11:45 a.m. local time.
According to a statement from Turkish Airlines, both Noori and baby Havva were healthy. Photos and videos from the incident have made rounds on social media. The images showed Soman Noori coddling her new baby on an airplane seat. In one picture, her two sons and her husband posed beside Soman Noori as Havva slept in her arms, adorned with a cute pink cap.
The baby’s birth on a Turkish Airlines flight has drummed up a lot of buzz on Twitter, with thousands of tweets pointing out the wonderful meaning behind the story. With chaos and fear still deeply present surrounding the situation in Afghanistan, Soman Noori giving birth while fleeing Taliban rule is somewhat metaphoric for hope.
“Joy amid the despair,” wrote NBC Universal senior executive Mike Sington. “Turkish Airlines cabin crew successfully deliver a newborn baby during an evacuation flight.”
Havva is the latest in a string of babies being born during Kabul evacuations. One baby was born on a U.S. military evacuation flight that was on the way to Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
On Aug. 21, a pregnant woman complained of labor pains after the C-17 airplane took off from Qatar. The Afghan woman was complaining of complications. It prompted the pilot to bring the plane down to a lower altitude in order to increase air pressure in the aircraft.
The pilot’s actions reportedly saved the woman’s life. Military officials confirmed that the increased air pressure helped stabilize the woman. Once the plane landed, medics rushed aboard the C-17 and delivered the baby.
While joy is still present among the fear, U.S. State Department officials continue to urge Americans in Kabul to exercise caution. On Saturday, the department advised Americans near Kabul airport to exit the vicinity immediately citing a potential threat.
The U.S. State Department urged citizens to avoid the airport at all costs, specifically airport gates. It was also said that citizens should avoid the South gate, the Ministry of the Interior, and the gate close to Panjshir Petrol station because a terrorist attack is likely.
The warning comes after a suicide bomber killed 169 Afghan people and 13 U.S. service members on Thursday.