vendredi 13 septembre 2013

Egypt/Switzerland: Lotfia El Nadi, The first African and Egytian female to earn a pilot license!

"I learned to fly because I love to be free"!

         Born in Cairo in 1906. At 22, after finishing her school she found out about the newly established flying school and decided to join it . However , her father rejected the idea and when she insisted he allowed her to pursue her dream but decided that he is not going to pay for her education. This, however, did not stop her ; instead she took up a job as a telephone operator in Egypt Air and with her salary paid for her flying classes. She took aviation lessons at her expense. At the age of 26, she became the first Egyptian female to earn a pilot license in Egypt. The same year, she was on a flight from Alexandria to Cairo to show that Egyptian women were equal to men in all areas. Her English teacher was so excited about the idea that he sent a picture of her to the international press and so she became very famous especially when in the same year of her graduation she won the Alexandria to Cairo flying competition.

Egyptian for ever, Swiss by accident!

         Unfortunately in the early 50s she had a terrible accident while landing that left her with a broken spine and damaged face and forced her to leave Egypt for Switzerland on a long journey of treatment and has remained there ever since. She lived in Lausanne and took Swiss citizenship and then moved to Toronto in Canada. She helped establish the Pilots’ Club and was its secretary general for 20 years. When asked why she wanted to fly, she replied "I learned to fly because I love to be free." She never married, and lived at Lausanne, in Switzerland till her death in Cairo in 2002.

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