Officer Cadet Midya Masti is a Kurdish born doctor who is the first Kurdish female to graduate from the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
A total of 19 cadets graduated from Sandhurst on 20 March, during a passing out parade with COVID social distancing measures in place, but the event held particular significance for three members.
Chuki Wangmo from Bhutan, Midya Masti from the Peshmerga Force of the Kurdistan Region and Firushana Thaufeeq from the Maldives were inspected by Major General Celia Harvey as they marched on the parade square in front of Sandhurst’s Old College.
The 30 year-old Officer Cadet Midya Masti serves as a doctor in a military hospital back in Kurdistan and was also shocked by the comparatively low UK temperatures.
"My name is Officer Cadet Midya Masti. I'm honoured to be the first female from Kurdistan to graduate from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. I am a doctor at a military hospital back home in Kurdistan with a civil rank, but when I go back from here, I will be in the military," Masti said in a statement published on the British Army's Facebook page.
In her statement she indicated that she was originally running for the regular course; "I actually went through a number of interviews before I got selected and it was narrowed down to two people, me and another girl. The team from Sandhurst liked me and offered me the commissioning course instead and I was very interested in it. When I told my family, it was Sandhurst they just said, ‘you have to go’," she said.
"I got a lot of briefings on how the commissioning course was going to be. They told me it was going to be all doctors, lawyers and padres, so I thought it was going to be very simple, but it wasn’t. To be honest the first two week were very challenging, especially the exercises, the sleeping in the cold and not being allowed to use lights. I would never ever have thought I could finish a course like that.
Perhaps had they told me all this at the beginning, I might not have come, but then I wouldn’t be the person I am today – to be honest, I’m very proud. It was such an amazing experience; I’m honoured to graduate from here. I hope after this, more Iraqi, Iraqi Kurdish females could join and experience this amazing opportunity
My best memories will be the amazing people I met and the fact I graduated from here because all the royalties have been to this academy, so I am honoured to graduate from a place like this," she added.
Masti received congratulations from British consul-general in the Kurdistan Region on her achievement.