Shaesta Waiz: Afghan Refugee Becomes Youngest Woman to Fly Solo Around the World

Afghan Refugee has become the youngest woman in history to complete a solo round-the-world flight. Shaesta Waiz, the 30-year-old pilot, touched down in Daytona Beach, Florida at 6:43 PM yesterday evening in her Beechcraft Bonanza A36 single-engine aircraft.

Since May, Shaesta Waiz has been flying to over 20 countries as part of ‘Dream Soar’ mission aimed at inspiring young women pursuing an education in aviation and engineering while promoting the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

The 25,000-mile journey which began at Daytona Beach, Florida, USA involved 138 stops in 22 countries including Canada, Spain, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, India and Australia. The longest leg was a 14 hour flight across the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to California.

Shaesta Waiz was born in a refugee camp in Afghanistan. In 1987, her family emigrated to the United Sates of America to escape the Soviet–Afghan War. She went on to study at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where she started the Women’s Ambassador Program. Overcoming war and poverty, Shaesta Waiz is today, the first female civilian pilot from Afghanstan. She will be a special guest speaker at ICAO’s inaugural NGAP Global Summit to be held in Montréal this November.

“Every time I open the door to an aircraft, I ask myself, “How did a girl with my background become so lucky?” The truth is, anyone can be me. You must believe in yourself and allow your dreams to soar.” she said.

Credit: National Geographic

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