Hanan is a real Arab Change-maker
She is the first of the two Air Traffic Controllers in Bahrain, paving the way for women in a traditionally male-dominated world.
We are delighted to feature her as a Top of Her Game Gamechanger.
1. What are the main achievements in your life?
Throughout the traditional life of an Arabic woman which I led, I faced a lot of challenges related to my nature as a tender woman.
When I started out as Air Traffic Controller in 2003 there was a lot of doubt about a woman being in the field and, even if she did become an Air Traffic Controller, it was believed that in a matter of time she would quit and leave the aviation field.
12 years into the life of an Air Traffic Controller with three licenses in different controlling positions, being a wife and a mother of two kids, being one of the highest capability ATC would be something that I consider a great achievement.
I can say that main achievements in my life are: the transformation from being the woman whose capabilities were doubted to an Air Traffic Controller who educates and enlightens the young generation of aviation students to be ATCs by changing their personalities to be stronger andencouraging them in self-confrontation.
My main achievements also include being an inspiring aviation instructor in the Gulf Aviation Academy, in addition to my original job as controller.
2. What drives you to be at the top of your game? What are your success strategies?
My main strategies are:
Never Stop Learning! Learning and education to me are more of a passion than a goal. A day without learning something new is a day wasted. It is this passion through which I discovered the innovator in me and stopped being an imitator.
I never let my fears stand in the way of my dreams because I believe in myself before the others do.
I believe I can use all the knowledge, intelligence, opportunities, time, skill and talent that I have to hand.
Don’t imitate your parents, or your boss, or anyone else for that matter. Just be yourself.
Listen to and learn from other people, but think, act and decide for yourself, for what you want regardless of the others’ opinion or what they plan for you.
Lastly, always remember to have fun and to add more taste to all aspects of life, be it at work, home – as a mother, wife, daughter, sister or even as an Air Traffic Controller.
3. The GCC states, and Bahrain within it, are going through major change when it comes to the involvement in business and society. What do you think is driving that?
Bahrain has taken substantial measures to enact reforms and create the most open, favourable business conditions to make this possible.
Fortunately, by virtue of its strategic location, Bahrain has the advantage of being an ideal gateway to the Gulf market.
We understand that we have to do what it takes to create the most competitive and business-friendly environment for business. Bahrain will always focus its efforts on the building of foundations, ahead of the building of landmarks.
It is through this commitment to building for a better future that Bahrain has come become the most mature, well-established business hub in the Gulf, providing the most free, open, liberal, transparent environment for businesses and communities. Bahrain has maintained its position as a globally competitive base for business, thanks to its focus on sustainability, skills, and good governance.
4. Finally, it is important for us to recognise the power of men in supporting women. Who played an instrumental role in your personal growth and success? Who are they and how did they influence you?
The first man who really supported me, and still does, is my father who raised me as a strong, independent person rather than just a traditional Arabic woman.
He is the one who taught me how to be myself and how to present myself without fear or hesitation.
The second person is my loving husband, who whenever I fell back, he has supported and helped me by taking my hand, looking into my eyes to filling my life with love, care and strength.