When a woman challenges societal norms and kicks ass in every way possible, she becomes nothing short of an inspiration to future generations. We’re here to talk about a pilot-cum-activist who falls in the same category.
Meet Qaswa Mubarak Hussain
Initially studying to become a doctor in a family of engineers and businessmen, Qaswa realized that she wanted to become a pilot. She kept her wishes a secret until she gathered all the information she needed to convince her father to let her pursue her dreams. To her surprise, her parents have been extremely supportive of her decision, especially her father.
Talking to MangoBaaz about why she wanted to become a pilot, here’s what Qaswa had to say:
“Growing up while hearing the words ‘yeh larkian nahi kar sakti’ made me cringe. Women are oppressed for no reason other than being females in a male-dominated society. I wanted to prove those people wrong. I wanted to prove that women can do anything they put their minds too. And I’m happy to say that I did.”
Qaswa also shared what it’s like to work in such a male-dominated field.
She revealed how there’s a common saying at her flying club that blatantly states, “Yahan larkian pilot banne nahi, phasane aati hain”. She has been fighting this stereotype ever since she started flying. But by now, she has made it evident that she is indeed a career-oriented woman here to pursue her dreams. She constantly urges women to follow their dreams as well and to not let society’s pressure hold them back in any way.
Talking about what flying is like, here’s what Qaswa shared:
“Flying is magical but it’s also very professional.”
She said that she was the only student there without an aviation background, so it was very difficult in the beginning. There was no one to guide her, and she had to cope on her own. For a while, she believed that she probably doesn’t belong in this field. But after her first solo flight, everything seemed different. It felt like this was where she belonged because everything up there felt magical. She added that she takes her flying very seriously and that it’s a big responsibility.
However, alongside being a pilot, Qaswa also heads a charitable organization called ‘Dastageer.’
Back in 10th grade, Qaswa, with a few of her friends, started Dastageer, an organization in Rawalpindi. The charity is basically like a helping hand. They help create employment for the ones in need rather than just give them money or groceries. They also tutor children. Back in the day, they also taught the Quran to transsexuals as they were being denied that right in a few places in Rawalpindi at the time.
The charity has been able to help many people and change lives for the better.
With such great milestones under her wing, Qaswa is already making waves.
Recently, Qaswa was called up by UET to give a motivational speech to new students. It was to help women build confidence and to show them that they can do anything if they put their minds to it. She also has a TED Talk lined up at GIKI university soon. She says that she is happy to help anyone in need, especially women who are trying to find their paths in life.
What are Qaswa’s future plans?
Qaswa plans to become an airline pilot. In case that doesn’t pan out, she plans on going abroad and experiencing other dynamics of aviation. She also said that she will continue her social work, as that’s something she can never give up on.
If you want to see the entire interview I conducted, here ya go:
Undoubtedly, Qaswa is nothing short of an inspiration. Here’s hoping she continues to be a role model for women. What do you think of her story? Let me know in the comments.
Cover image via Qaswa