Bahrain’s Women Pioneers: Maisa Hazeem

March 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

February 5, 2007, was a historical day for women throughout the Gulf, but more particularly throughout Bahrain. It marked a day where Bahraini women acquired a new role for themselves in society and among the skies.

On February 5, 2007, Maisa Hazeem was the first Bahraini woman to qualify as a First Officer for Gulf Air. According to Gulf Air Vice President of Operations, Captain Hameed Ali, Maisa was welcomed to the team after bravely coming face to face with a number of challenges. “It is by no means an ordinary achievement,” he said. “She had to pass through hurdles, which are quite challenging and demanding. The two-year training programme is a rigorous one and there are no favours or concessions shown for being a woman.”

He acknowledged that the skies were typically viewed as a male domain, something women were incapable of handling, but said that, “Maisa broke that myth by proving she is equally capable and talented,” he said. “She is a sterling example of a successful Bahraini woman, and I am sure her success will open doors for more Bahraini women who want to achieve.”

In 2000, Maisa graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Bahrain. She then began working for the Bahrain International Airport as an air traffic controller, where she stayed for two years before joining Gulf Air’s cadet pilot programme in 2004.

When she stepped out of the cockpit of the A320 aircraft, after successfully completing her final ‘line check’ on February 5, 2007, she said, “It is the proudest moment of my life… I personally think any female can do it. All one needs is sincerity, hard work, competitive spirit and the determination to succeed.”

Just like everyone else in her programme, Maisa proved herself and her ability to endure whatever obstacles came her way in order to achieve her goals. She proved that women, like men, could soar through the skies with clarity and direction.  

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