Growing up as a young girl, Asli Hassan Abade the first and only female pilot in the Somali air force, as well as the first female military pilot in Africa and in the Arab world, spent most of her childhood days watching airplanes take off and land at the Mogadishu airport.

Asli was born on the first of January 1958, in Mogadishu, Somalia. She lived with her parents Hawa Aden and Hassan Abade and nine siblings in a house close to the Mogadishu airport.

She grew up in a family with huge public service record most of which were high-positioned military officers, mostly before the civil war. With the unique dream of becoming a pilot, she was determined to pursue her passion until it became reality no matter what it might take.

Apart from her little fantasies drawn from watching planes at the Mogadishu airport, the military influence in her family created a deep affection of joining the force. Also, she had always desired to make an impact in her country.

Fortunately for her, the Somalia national military began embracing various reforms after the country gained independence in 1960, and with the assistance of the Soviets, so much was put into strengthening various arms of the military including the Somalia Air Force (SAF).

Following a coup in 1969, the country was declared a nationalist state. This move brought modernization into the military creating large demands at different levels and arms of the military.

In the SAF, there was a pressing need for more qualified and experienced pilots, so a large number of pilots were sent to train in the United States, the UK, the Soviet Union and Italy.

Asli soon joined the movement and was trained in Italy. This was a dream come true for her and shortly afterward, on the 9th of September 1976, she made her first flight. Asli then worked with the Air Force for almost 10 years and was efficiently promoted through the ranks.

After serving with the SAF, She went back to school and earned a Masters Degree in Social Work with the Asylees and another Masters Degree in Management.

Asli is married to an aircraft engineer who works with American Airlines, they live in Dallas Fort Worth metroplex, a metropolitan area in north Texas.

Currently, Asli works as an interpreter in different hospitals and schools but she engages more of her time in humanitarian services such as helping refugees from all parts of the world.

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