Nawal al -Hawsawi A Saudi Arabian Mix of Rosa Parks and Bessie Coleman
Nawal al-Hawsawi is outspoken, black, a qualified pilot and married to a white man – everything her critics say a Saudi woman shouldn’t be. But despite receiving waves of abuse on social media, she refuses to bow to convention and hits back at her detractors “with love”. Al-Hawsawi has become something of a star on social media. She has amassed almost 50,000 followers on Twitter, where she posts about the importance of racial diversity and marriage equality.
But not everyone reading her feed is a fan. The deluge of racist abuse that came at the end of December was just the latest flurry in a long campaign. The trolls have had al-Hawsawi in their sights for years. They send her pictures of gorillas, grotesquely photoshopped African tribespeople, and they call her the A word – a derogatory Arabic term for black people that means “slave”, not dissimilar in meaning to the N word.
Growing up in Mecca, a fairly cosmopolitan part of Saudi Arabia, al-Hawsawi says until she travelled to the US she hadn’t consciously thought of herself as “black”. While she was there she learnt to fly and is now a certified pilot – though one who has yet to be allowed to take to the skies in her homeland. She also studied to become a marriage therapist, which is what she does now. She married a white man – an American – and returned to Saudi Arabia around a few years ago, which is when the trouble began.
Continue reading this unbelievable story on BBC.com