NABILA ABBAS, 22
Nabila Abbas is from a remote area of Pakistan, from a small tribe, where people were endowed with a dismal fate. Abbas says there was no education, awareness, technology, facility, no advancements, modern ways of life, or freedoms. As a girl in this environment, she found it terrifically challenging to dream for anything. Her surroundings oppressed the flourishing of ideas and the struggle to live consumed daily life. How would one dream for anything more?
Abbas found her love and ambition for aviation at a very young age. In a village where youth lack moral support and career counseling to direct their future hopes, Abbas was a joke for enjoying her “fancy world” of ambition. But to Abbas, it was clear that she would rather die for her passion than endure the boredom of her conservative tribe and environment. Abbas describes how most of her peers were hunted by depression because they had no one to listen to them. She wished there were more equal and open opportunities for her and her peers to stimulate creative thinking when envisioning a future. She thinks that a nurturing environment would have encouraged interest, especially the youth-led creation of better circumstances.
Abbas is passionate student of BS Aviation Management at University of Management and Technology. She hopes to break stereotypes in Pakistan and forge a path for youth in the aviation industry.
And Then, Nature Taught Me, “Never Give Up”
by Nabila Abbas
I learned the art of melody, struggle, sacrifice, compromise, bravery, and to stop worrying from nature. Nature was born with me when I first stepped into this world from the womb of my mother. The chirping of birds, blooming of flowers, thunder of lights, shining of stars, bright sun, blue roof of sky, and array of animals joined me into the melodious land of colorful life. Nature made me realize how beautiful and god-gifted colors of life are around me. But as I grew up, I came across a lot of pathetic hardships and realities of life.
Life’s bad circumstances beat me down. I was drowning in the great depths of sorrow, failure, and disappointment. I stomped and cried. My struggle and dedication were no use because the hardships of life were pulling me down. And then, nature taught me the art of never giving up. I learned from the chirping birds. These creatures struggle and succeed to make a nest of love and affection as shelter for their babies. Picture this: a mother bird goes in search of food, assuring her babies that she would be back soon with the grains of food, and leaves with the worry of her babies’ security in mind. Suddenly, horrible thunder screams in the sky, stormy winds blow, and the crying baby birds fail to secure themselves from the storm. Crying for their mother to come back, the birds fall down and a few die. The mother comes back in a hurry, aware of the stormy condition and worried about her babies, but when she arrives she sees the worst. She doesn’t cry like a human nor does she show her heartache. She wakes up the next morning, chirping, giving a message of hope to humans and then starts collecting straws in her beak, bit by bit, to build her nest again.
I got through a phase of my life when I had to sacrifice for my dear ones. I had feelings of rage and irritation. Why always me, not others? And then, nature showed me another example of its teachings—that sacrificing happens to those who are bright, shiny, and precious. Nature showed me that the sun sacrifices itself to set in the night so the moon can rise up. It taught me that sacrificing can be a beautiful and delightful gift you get in the end, like the moon after the sacrifice of the sun. If the sun isn't ready to sacrifice itself and instead stayed over our heads, then humans would be affected and wouldn't be able to rejoice the beauty of night.
There then came a phase of my life when I had to interact and mix with a variety of people. I met good, kind, bad, and stubborn people. I faced many selfish people who ruined my sincerity and love under their veil of diplomacy. I was crying inside wondering why people don’t understand others’ feelings. I felt my sincerity and humanity were of no use anymore. And then, nature pacified my tears, patted my shoulder, and said, “Look! You’ve to face a variety of people with good and bad intentions. But you can stay calm like rain. Have you ever noticed that rain showers its drops on flowers as well as on thorns? It showers the barren land as well as the fertile land.” It taught me the skill of compromising. It taught me that you’re only accountable for your own acts and deeds in front of God; let the others be by themselves. It taught me to never stop spreading the rainy drops of love, sincerity, and affection.
There came a phase in my life when I had to take action and make difficult decisions. I was confused, smashed, and buried under my traditional laws of being a girl from a tribal area. And then, nature again became my teacher and hugged me with affection. I looked over the sky and suddenly the calm sky was interrupted by lightning. I was scared for a moment and asked nature why it was being so horrible and cruel to the lovely, calm blue sky. Within a few seconds, I got my answer as after some thunder and a few flashes of lightning, it started raining and made the whole earth pleasant and delightful. Nature smiled and addressed me: “Sometimes, you have to take enough brave actions to get valuable, pleasant, and long-lasting results. And for this you have to suffer the same like the sky.”