Monday, June 20, 2005

First Saudi Arabian Aviatrix

Saudi woman Hanadi Zakariya Hindi has completed commercial pilot training at the Mideast Aviation Academy in Jordan and already has a job. Her training was sponsored by the Saudi Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, and she will be flying private jets for his Kingdom Holding Company.

It doesn't say what type she is to fly, but an search suggests that the prince doesn't mess around with little planes like Gulfstreams. Hindi's ride might be this Boeing 767, this Airbus 340 or this Boeing 727.

Saudi women are not permitted to drive cars, but apparently no one ever thought to ban them from flying airplanes, so Hindi (and her sponsor) have swooped through a loophole in the society. The article doesn't say what her uniform will consist of. The link above shows here with her hair loose. Here's another picture of her with a simple headscarf and another with a more severe head covering. And here's a head-to-toe covering (not Hanadi Hindi, but who could tell?) that I'd never want to have to wear while flying an airplane.

I suspect this is more about the political manoevering of Prince Alwaleed than the career ambitions of Hindi, but maybe I'm just cynical. Curiously, all the articles refer to her as "Captain Hanadi Hindi" so that makes me wonder, who is the male FO who reports to this green-out-of-training cause célèbre? I'll take the job, if the prince has a shortage of male applicants.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Good for her. (Cynical vibes re why she is "allowed" to, temporarily suspended). What is the point of a country that deliberately wastes 50% of it's talent?

Anonymous said...

In fact, women in Saudi aren't even allowed to sit in the front of a car!