Why do some Arab women make it? Why do others fail? Is it possible that successful Arab women in general share certain character traits? They probably do.
Although they may have different approaches, skills, and interests, they have a lot in common, too. You can name them: passion, insistence, persistence, ambition.
For example, Asli Hassan Abade’s story could be inspiration for a prospective successful Arab and African woman. It can be applicable to anybody who has these qualities: talent, passion, insistence, persistence, ambition.
Abade, the world famous Somali born pilot was born on 1 January 1958 in Mogadishu, the capital city which is known as the “City of Islam” and was controlling the East African gold trade for several centuries.
Abade is one of the most successful, rare Arab female pilot fighters, an icon in a profession dominated by men.
Vintage Somalia, Abade holds a special place among Somalia’s trailblazing pioneers. She is the country’s first and only female pilot fighter.
Her childhood home was located close to Mogadishu airport where she grew up with her parents and nine brothers. Watching planes take off and land on a daily basis sowed the seeds of her ambition to become an airplane pilot.
Despite various barriers, the determined Somalian defied the odds and achieved her dream to fly
She left Somalia in the 1970s to train as a professional fighter pilot in Italy and later moved to the United States. She returned to her native land to join the Somali Air Force and started flying planes in 1976.
Actually, she attributes her successful career in the country’s Air Force to the support women received from the government and the President of Somalia in that era.
“Women could do whatever they wanted. They were part of the government ruling elite, they were part of the defence forces including the navy, the infantry. They were university lecturers, members of the ruling party and they were in every part of the government,” she said proudly.
After a decade of national service with the Somali Air Force, Abade left the country again after she fell in love with an American aircraft engineer. “We settled in Dallas Fort Worth in Texas, to start a family. My spouse and I are blessed with a girl and three boys.”
A licensed pilot with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Captain she flies at least twice a year as required by FAA regulations, according to UNSOM.
“I am also a flight instructor and can offer pilot training courses free of charge as a volunteer. As a captain, I fly an Airbus. I last flew four months ago,” she said.
The Somali pilot is anxious to impart her skills and experience to young Somalis, which she sees as part of her contribution to the country’s stabilization and Progression.
“We had our time, our generation enjoyed its youth. Now we need to train and mentor today’s youth because the future lies with them,” Abade noted.
In the mid-2000s, she decided to put an end to armed conflict and waged a peace campaign, encouraging lawmakers to come together and put an end to the long-standing civil conflict in her native Somalia.
Attending every major political event dressed in the colors of the Somali flag, Abade reportedly commanded the respect of all the attendees.
” I am sure that Abade is the first Arab woman, as far as I can remember, to reach such heights,” said Habiba, a student at the Egyptian Aviation Academy.
Habiba also described Abade as a “combination of African beauty and strength “.
“Ultimately, Abade taught our generation to understand that the role of Arab woman is not to be indolent. The role of Arab woman is to learn and reshape society and to ultimately make a great culture.”