November 21, 2007
Female Pilots Still Face Obstacles
By Mary Grady, News Writer, Editor
It wasn't that long ago that female pilots here in the U.S. were an uncommon sight -- and unsettling, to some. Now in other parts of the world, women are just starting to find their way into the front seat, and not everyone is happy about it. In Qatar, the first Arab woman to fly a helicopter has been widely ridiculed and subjected to threatening phone calls after appearing in public wearing her pilot's uniform. "All phone calls had a similar message to convey," Munira Al Dosri told The Peninsula. "People were telling me they felt ashamed to see me without the abaya and veil (Qatari women's traditional attire). They told me they were ashamed of me being a Qatari woman." Qatar, a small country bordered by Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, is one of the richest countries in the world. Al Dosri works for Gulf Helicopter and plans to continue flying and earning more ratings.
"My family, especially my parents, are very understanding and supportive," she said. "Thanks to them, I am able to carry on with my profession and focus on what I'm doing."