Photo Credit: Hassanah Al-Saba
Jamaica Celebrates Its First Muslim Woman Pilot
On August 29, Hassanah Al-Saba received her pilot’s license, making her the first Muslim woman in Jamaica to hold the credential. She is being celebrated in her country and beyond, something the 22-year-old says felt unreal at first.
“I couldn’t believe that it was me on the TV and in the paper,” says Hassanah. “But it has sunken in and now I really hope that I have inspired others and emulated our motto of ‘Out of Many, One People.’ I’m a proud Jamaican and I hope I can show my people that dreams are within reach.”
Hassanah’s inspiration to become a pilot was simply flying and enjoying the various flights she has taken during her life. Flying to visit her grandparents in Trinidad, she loved the feeling of ascending into the sky during take-off.
A passion for flying:
“Since then, my eyes were always glued to the sky and my fascination for airplanes grew. I love looking out at the gorgeous landscape. Nature is breathtaking and I love that flying gives me the opportunity to absorb the picturesque scenery. Flying also makes me feel free, in a way. I can go up in the sky and leave my worries on the ground. Just me and the clouds are vibing.”
Hassanah passed her flight exam on August 25 and received her license on August 29. Finally holding the license in her hand was confirmation that all her hard work paid off and the first step toward her airline dream was completed.
“The training was rigorous but I enjoyed every minute of it. I made mistakes like any student would but I felt extremely determined to work hard and fix those mistakes.”
Next on Hassanah’s agenda is commercial license training. Her dream is to ultimately fly for airlines and she will be continuing her journey until she achieves her goal.
“I’d like to thank the Aeronautical School of the West Indies for providing A1 flight training and treating me with the utmost respect. I’d also like to thank Christopher Gooding, Gari-Paul Tomlinson, Richard Gordon, and Sheldon Irons as well as all the persons who believed in me and my dream.”