The name Amelia Earhart must strike a bell with everyone, since she was the first female pilot in the world. However, are you aware of the world’s first ever Muslim female pilot?
Hijab Imtiaz Ali was the first female Muslim pilot to have soared the skies, ever. Not only that, she was and still continues to be one of Pakistan’s most reputable authors as well. Hijab Imtiaz Ali commenced her piloting career in England and officially attained her pilot’s license in October 1936. In early 1930s, Hijab tied the knot with renowned journalist and fiction writer Imtiaz Ali Taj. Just like her husband Imtiaz Ali, Hijab Abbasi is also counted among Pakistan’s renowned and most respected authors ever.
Flying was Hijab’s passion and she frequently participated in Lahore flying club’s competitions. A famous author once narrated in his biography an interesting anecdote regarding Hijab. He stated in his book that once he visited Hijab’s house and was sitting in her lawn when she came to greet him. Hijab told him that she had to go somewhere and would come back in a short while. A little time had elapsed when he saw a small plane circling above the lawn where he was sitting. Lifting up his head, he was surprised to see that it was Hijab in the plane above, waving her handkerchief towards him.
When Hijab Imtiaz entered into the field of writing, her popularity knew no bounds. Her most famous and popular novels include Lail-o-Nihar, Sanober Kay Saey May, Meri Natamaam Muhubbat and Tasveer-e-Butaa’n. Hijab used to live in Lahore at the Model Town locality with her children, where she ultimately passed away.