Qaswa Mubarak Hussain, the name that has become a beacon of hope and empowerment, is the youngest Pakistan’s female pilot. This dynamic 21-year-old mastered flying planes in 2 years and took off her first flight in 2019. Qaswa is from Rawalpindi and is now flying and piercing through the skies. She chose to become a pilot over a doctor, to break stereotypes and to become a motivation for women to try new opportunities. For this mission, she not only broke the social and traditional barriers; of choosing the cliche professions like her siblings but also fought her own fears of height, failure and lives of people flying with her.
Qaswa says, “My first solo flight was yet another life changing moment and everything seemed magical.”. She has not only made her parents proud but the entire nation too. She is now determined to become an airline pilot and motivate girls to do something new, different and extraordinary.
The Talib Times: A person knows himself better than anyone else, can you please tell us about yourself?
Qaswa Mubarak: I completed my training when I was 20. I’m the youngest sibling and come from an average looking family with extraordinary parents. Being a pilot isn’t all I am, I’m a literature freak who loves to read and Urdu novels are my favorite. I paint and draw when I feel like expressing myself better. When I’m at my parents’ home, I’ll be a little baby because I like being pampered by them and enjoy that part of my life as well.
The Talib Times: People face a lot of problems in life. In case of any problem, who do you look forward to?
Qaswa Mubarak: I don’t completely depend upon one human being for all my problems. I mostly tackle them on my own as I believe that’s going to help my mental growth. But when I have to get a second opinion I look forward to my elder brother. He understands me completely and is my support through thick and thin.
The Talib Times: Friends are a gift to us, you like making friends or are you just busy with your work?
Qaswa Mubarak: I’m a very social person. Meeting new people and making friends is a treat for me. I prefer becoming friends with people who belong to different communities and have different lifestyles because that makes me feel like I took a little step towards ending boundaries. Plus, it gives me more exposure and insight of others’ perspectives, for personal growth. I learn a lot from my friends and all of them are there for me whenever I need them.
The Talib Times: You were invited as guest speaker to an institution, how was your experience?
Qaswa Mubarak: I have been called as a guest speaker few times now, and I find it as an opportunity to stand up and speak for gender equality, women empowerment and address all the issues in our society that needs to be highlighted. Student body of every institute is different, so I have to deliver my words according to the audience. I do hope I leave a positive impact through that platform.
The Talib Times: A lot of us dream to fly but you live that dream, how does that make you feel?
Qaswa Mubarak: I always liked the idea of having wings, being in air, that sense of freedom, but it changed into a passion gradually. I can’t label a day I woke up and thought this is what I’m going to be. However, I felt the discrimination women have to face in our society too, so this initially sparked my passion to do something that would make people reconsider before questioning abilities of any girl. This field suited me the most, combining my interest of flying as well as gender equality, this was my small step towards women empowerment.
The Talib Times: What was the reaction of your family when your shared your wish of becoming a Pilot?
Qaswa Mubarak: I was a pre-medical student who had her career decided by her parents, but I gathered the courage to convince my parents one last time for flying. They were hesitant, not even willing to consider it. I forcefully took my father to a flying club, and the moment he stepped in became my key moment. He then had the same dreams for me that I have for myself. I wouldn’t have made it this far without my family’s support.
The Talib Times: How was the training for you, did it ever push you to the limit or made you want to give up?
Qaswa Mubarak: Training was tough. At initial stages specially, I reconsidered my decision on daily basis. I felt like a misfit who had no idea what others were talking about. I failed the easiest subjects. But It took time and few months later I was able to cope up. I’ll share the story of my first solo flight;
I wasn’t mentally prepared for it, my instructor thought I can fly an aircraft solo, so he gave me the confidence to go for it. Obviously I was nervous at first, but sense of responsibility and achievement dominated everything. I had the controls to myself, knowing no one is there to help me. I believed in myself and successfully completed my first mile stone. Now my only competition is myself. I try to be a better aviator every day. I didn’t let my struggles take over my ambitions.
The Talib Times: Would you encourage and invite more girls to pursue this profession?
Qaswa Mubarak: Yes, I’d personally suggest girls to consider flying as their profession. According to me this is the only way we can fix the gender-based judgments in this field, by fixing the ratio first, that is currently 5.1% females around the globe. Plus, it is a great career option.
The Talib Times: What is your opinion about “Women Empowerment?
Qaswa Mubarak: Women empowerment to me is not just two words, it’s a mixed deeply rooted feeling that triggers frustration when misunderstood. It’s about the equality of every gender, as women and trans have more cultural issues so they get addressed more but providing other two genders their rights doesn’t mean depriving the first one from their rights, it’s not a pie.
The Talib Times: According to you “Who is a strong woman”?
Qaswa Mubarak: According to me, a strong brave woman is any woman out there who would prioritize herself, her choices and respect her own self before anything else. No matter what she chooses for herself, if she doesn’t let the circumstances get in her way of achieving that, she is an inspiration for me.
The Talib Times: What is the first thing that comes to your mind hearing about the following;
a- Imran Khan- True Leader
b- Food: Zero Self-control
c- Women Empowerment- Ma’am Asma Jahangir
d- Passion- Fuel for our Souls
e- Future- Coming Generations
The Talib Times: You are an inspiration to many but who is your inspiration?
Qaswa Mubarak: Hazrat Khadijah R.A is my biggest inspiration. Her strong personality, wise decision making, running a successful business on her own, being a great wife and an amazing mother is everything that inspires me to shape myself as a strong woman who knows her responsibilities, rights and limits. In our country I’d say Ma’am Asma Jahangir is one of the biggest inspirations for me.
The Talib Times: The Talib Times finds you an Inspiration. What message would you like to give to the girls who look up to you?
Qaswa Mubarak: I’m very honored but I don’t believe I’m worthy of being an inspiration. I’m currently still learning and making my way through things. to every girl out there, you’re the inspiration you’re looking for. You’re everything you need. Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. And never compromise on your ambitions. Love and respect your own self and don’t let society tell you otherwise. Life is bigger than the beauty standards and the mould you’re told to fit in. Have faith, Indeed Allah is the Best of Planners.