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8 Mar, 2015

An inspirational message from India’s only woman Muslim pilot

“People initially think I’m Christian and then gawk when I tell them my full name,” laughs Saarah Hameed Ahmed (25) the Bengaluru girl who is the only known Muslim among the 600-odd women pilots employed in the Indian aviation sector. “I just love the look on people’s faces when they discover I am Muslim.”

People’s reaction to her choice of profession is a constant source of entertainment for Saarah. Many want to know how a girl can handle a machine that’s many times her size, she says as she cracks up again. “Poor things; they don’t know that my fingers are all I need to fly,” she says twiddling her thumbs.

Of course, the reactions are not always amusing or sensitive. Saarah says she too has had to face the brunt of Islamophobia that gripped the world post 9/11. But each time she has managed to win people over with a combination of humour and tact, she says.

Read the rest: An inspirational message from India’s only woman Muslim pilot.