United Against Violence in the Name of Religion (UVNR): Nawal Alhawsawi
KAICIID Fellows Programme 2017: Nawal Ibrahim Alhawsawi
I believe I can fly :-)
اللهم صَل عليه وسلم
Nawal al-Hawsawi is a Saudi-Arabian pilot, and a female. This is not common, if not almost impossible in Saudi Arabia, making Nawal al-Hawsawi a pioneer and a problem for the monarchy in the country. She also has led the county's women in fights against racism and domestic violence. She has been referred to as the "Rosa Parks of Saudi Arabia", due to her in dominatable spirit and desire to see women move forward in her country. Al-Hawsawi, who originated from Mecca, married a white American male, breaking this common tradition of only marrying within her religion and her race, as well as marrying outside her culture.. She has a commercial pilot's license and is also a mental health counselor and marriage therapist. These are not traditional fields for women in Saudi Arabia, and further the strain that al-Hawasai has felt from her relations with the monarchy in Saudi Arabia. She founded the therapy provider Soundheart.org, which is not allowed to pass through filters on the internet with Saudi Arabia. She has 50,000 followers on Twitter, and actively utilizes social media to strengthen her causes and beliefs. She receives a lot of pejorative commentary on social media, but meets it with grace and strength. The fact she is black and Saudi Arabian, also create issues for her in the western community, but she is not daunted by this. She was verbally abused by a woman in Saudi, where verbal abuse is a crime. She won her case in Saudi Arabia, but she dropped charges against the woman, who is now her friend. She never identified herself as black until time spent in the United States, where she learned to fly and got her license. She is not permitted to fly an aircraft in Saudi Arabia.