For the first time in its history, Lebanon’s national carrier MEA operated a flight with an all-women crew on board.
The stereotype-shattering flight was piloted by Lebanon’s first and only female captain, Captain Rola Hoteit.
After Hoteit joined MEA, the airline welcomed more female pilots, who have joined the team as First Officers (co-pilots).
In the gender-biased society we live in, Lebanese women are continuing to break the glass ceiling for all females across the region.
Captain Hoteit and MEA’s female pilots are an inspiration to young girls to dream of being whatever they set their minds to and challenge the status quo.
More often than assumed, it is because of daily micro-aggressions against women that they are motivated to work harder and achieve their dreams.
For instance, Hoteit once heard the sexist comment, “Women cannot drive a car. How will they be able to fly an airplane?” Clearly, she went on to put people in their place, despite the intimidation.
Lebanese women have proven time and again to be just as capable – if not more, and many have been acclaimed by Forbes for their outstanding achievements.
Not long ago, the aviation world was stunned by this video of Captain Hoteit making a historic challenging landing at London Heathrow Airport in heavy crosswinds.
Perhaps in an alternate universe, all-women-led flights would be considered normal, maybe even mundane. But where we are in this place and time, in this part of the world, this flight is worthy of celebration.
Women’s engagement in careers is crucial not only to for them and the society but to the country’s economy, as they participate in the job market. Unfortunately, recent studies in Lebanon show that women’s unemployment rate has increased by 63% from last year.