By BI: This 18-year-old wants to be the FDNY’s first female Muslim firefighter. As a New Yorker, this is absolutely the last thing you’d ever want to see if your building was on fire and you needed rescuing. Ahlam Ahmed is a petite eighteen-year-old of Yemeni descent stands five feet tall, weighs just 105 pounds, and is well aware of the physical challenges inherent to the job. But she is resolute and knows her religious needs would eventually trump FDNY needs..if they don’t want a lawsuit filed against them by CAIR.
Village Voice In a dining room at the FDNY Academy on Randalls Island, Ahmed is the only observant Muslim (observant as in disobeying the dress code and considering the need to pray during working hours more important than the requirements of the job) in a group of about 60 women.
They range from military veterans and teenage members of the department’s Explorer program to college athletes and hopefuls who have already taken the department’s most recent firefighter exam. They’re all here to participate in the FDNY’s first-ever Women’s History Month Female Outreach Event, created to help inspire more women to join the department.
“I want to see what the FDNY has to offer,” Ahmed says matter-of-factly. She is dressed in jeans and a red sweater. A white scarf conceals her neck, ears, and hair (Not to mention her vision)
Ahmed, a senior at the Islamic Al-Ihsan Academy in Queens, signed up for the event last year while attending a career fair at Kingsborough Community College. One persistent recruiter at the FDNY booth inspired her.
“At first, I was like, ‘I can’t do that,’ ” she says. “I’ve got strict parents and I’m a girl and I’m small.” (Not to worry, cupcake, Mayor dhimmi deBlasio will lower the standards for you)
Not a lot of women have similar experiences. There are more than 10,400 firefighters in the FDNY, and only 44 of them are women. Srisakul counts the event, which her group organized in conjunction with the department, as one of UWF’s successes in addressing the scarcity of female firefighters.