Opening Statement of Women in Aviation – Middle East Chapter
A woman in Aviation Organization is an international organization began in 1990 and was formally established in 1994. Since it’s founding the Organization, which is headquartered in the United States aims to support women to engage in a variety of fields and disciplines offered by the aviation sector in particular. And to highlight the achievements and support women in various aviation fields. Not only members of the organization that are present in the United States, but WIA always sought a group of women who work in the aviation industry, to open Chapters in many regions and countries worldwide. Today, they have organized branches in: America , Canada, Britain , China , Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Switzerland. (http://www.wai.org/)
Approximately 23 –years, the idea of opening a branch in the Middle East, based in the UAE was propelled by a group of aviation specialists. During its inception, this Chapter has had the privilege to have its’ introduction amidst the forum leaders of the airports in the world , which was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum last May. For its first Chapter of women in aviation in the Middle East, United Arab Emirates was chosen because it is considered one of the top countries in the field of aviation and occupies the first place in the disciplines of investments, expansions, services and revenue. Thus, the existence of such an organization will serve a lot of women in aviation and enhance the positive roles of women, which in turn will also be a new step in attracting women to the aviation field.
Mervat Sultan, President of the Middle East Chapter in the United Arab Emirates says that this Chapter today is still to be officially inaugurated and has chosen the members of the Board of Directors from various aviation disciplines. They are:
- Mervat Sultan / President
- Dina Ali Beljaflah / Vice President ( 1 )
- Kristina Tervo / Vice President ( 2 )
- Heba Hussein / Treasurer
- Farah Al Ansari / Membership Committee
- Mariam Ali Al Balooshi / Public Relations & Communications (Support Committee )
- Suaad Al Shamasi – Out Reach Support Committee
Mervat added that this Chapter of Women in Aviation in the Middle East is based on many objectives that will strategize a clear and comprehensive agenda for the Middle Eastern Women in particular. The most important objectives:
Firstly, to encourage communication between women working in aviation from various countries of the region and the development of an information network that combines and facilitates the process of communication, in order to simplify the broadcasting of knowledge. This will help to identify and propagate their achievements in order to raise awareness of the role of women in aviation in the region.
Secondly, to develop an educational program for women in aviation in the region to generate an interest in them to visit aviation educational facilities by supporting institutions that are instrumental in further enlightening them and therefore creating a demand on the aviation “learning” environment to attract the new generation in the aviation sector.
Said Dina Ali Beljaflah, Senior Vice President, says that the Aviation Authority in Dubai has supported the idea from the beginning and welcomed the idea with open arms to launch a chapter of Women in Aviation” in the UAE. They have helped to facilitate a lot of the procedures required for the commencing of the chapter. This has been fueled by the growing interest of the Middle Eastern Woman in the aviation sector as an optional profession in the UAE in general , as well as the confidence of young Emirati women themselves , going that extra mile to the face of Western ideas and to achieve their dreams in particular .
Also confirmed Maryam Al Balushi that the setup of the Chapter is very important to strengthen the role of women and especially highlights them in the aviation sector, but added advantage that United Arab Emirates advances to change the map of aviation and industry, not only for themselves but for the entire region. This gesture as well as a lot of initiatives gives a positive image of the UAE’s support in the aviation sector, especially for women to have a prominent roles and makes provision for women to be aviation ambassadors for the Country and the region in general .
Heba Hussein adds that she is positive that this chapter will attract a lot of new audience owing to the achievements and excellence made by women in many aviation disciplines that was once the earmarked for men only!
Belinda Suares says “This is a major breakthrough to see a chapter of Women in Aviation now being operational for the Middle East from as the UAE provides an atmosphere and an environment which encourages the shaping and development of the careers of Middle Eastern women in all industries, especially in the Aviation Sector, I am proud to be a part of this organization and I look forward to join a lot of women to work with us “.
Farah Al Ansari says having worked for the past 15 years in the aviation sector she is very proud to see the induction of this Chapter and looks forward to seeing many women connecting with this organization and looks forward to seeing avenues opened up for many in the aviation field .
And Engineer Suaad Al Shamasi, says that women in aviation is a step taken towards of the new and distinctive, UAE and the Middle East and has been met great enthusiasm in word and action to support women and future generations in a country such as the UAE with a strong belief in the status of women in society and in the Arab world. This is also emphasis that women in aviation provides support and opportunities in the aviation sector and our belief that women are capable of progressing and prospering in this sphere just like other sectors..
According to Christina Tervo Vice President Second, the organization will work to strengthen its vision and develop their desired objectives especially in a lot of events important as Aviation related in Dubai, one of which will start on November 17, where the F & E Aerospace organizers of the air show has openly shown their support to this Chapter and give us our own space to make us seen during the exhibition. So that this is the first time WIA will attend a formal exhibition among the public supports given opportunity for everyone to get to know them and their goals and how to participate through membership in the future in their activities. The Chapter has received support from both Dubai World Trade Center, DGT L.L.C and RamJet Aviation Support.