Born and raised in Iran, Mahnaz always had a great passion for art. After completing high school, her first job was working as a calligraphy teacher. In her spare time, she volunteered to help educate deprived women in order to empower them and alleviate the poverty in her community.
She returned to her homeland of Afghanistan in 2011, where she joined the Afghan National Army. She quickly excelled as a soldier and was selected to command the first Female Tactical Platoon (FTP) of the Afghan Special Forces. She worked alongside US soldiers to enable special operations across Afghanistan for ten years. After the withdrawal of US military in August 2021, she had to flee Afghanistan and assisted more than 30 FTPs to safely arrive in the United States. She now serves as Project Manager for the Afghan Allies Program, helping her FTP colleagues start a new chapter while continuing to overcome challenges as they once did while serving together in uniform.