A role model for aspiring female Arab fighter pilots

A role model for aspiring female Arab fighter pilots

AMMAN (Rahnuma): Earlier this year, Princess Salma bint Abdullah II of Jordan became the first Jordanian woman to complete preliminary pilot training on fixed-wing aircraft. She was presented with her wings by her father, King Abdullah, Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army at a ceremony attended by Queen Rania Al-Abdullah and Crown Prince Al-Hussein bin Abdullah II in January.

Salma Nims, secretary-general of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, told Arab News that Jordan has long placed importance on women serving in the military and police.

“Jordan is considered one of the top three countries active in peacemaking since 2007,” Nims said. “We have huge international support and national commitment — including with NATO and with Norway and Canada and Australia — to increase the number of women in this sector.”

Nims explained that supporting the role of women in the military doesn’t mean that Jordan is automatically in favor of instigating military action. “It is not about being pro-war. It is about building peace,” she said. “We participate in UN peacekeeping military missions to safeguard women and children.”

Nims believes that women in the military, including Princess Salma — who graduated from a short course at the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in November 2018 — help break down gender stereotypes of women as the weaker sex.

Princess Salma’s brother Crown Prince Hussein, a first lieutenant in the Jordanian Armed Forces, took to Instagram to congratulate his sister. “Brilliant and hard-working as always,” he wrote. “Congrats on receiving your wings and here’s to more success and achievements.”

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