Female Afghan pilot flies around the world to promote STEM, aviation dreams

Female Afghan pilot flies around the world to promote STEM, aviation dreams

Afghanistan pilot Shaesta Waiz is on mission: become the youngest woman woman to fly around the world solo, and – just as importantly – instill a love of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the minds of the young people who may one day take to the skies on their own.

The 29-year-old Waiz’s 90-day journey in her Beechcraft Bonanza A36 aircraft began on May 13 at Florida’s Daytona Beach International Airport. By the time her journey is finished, Waiz will have made 30 stops in 19 countries on five different continents – a total distance of over 25,000 nautical miles.

At each stop, Waiz is hosting events with young people to promote STEM education and encourage youngsters with aviation or science dreams of their own. The initiative is led by Dream Soar, a non-profit organisation she founded in 2014 and which is supported by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

“I’m flying solo around the world to inspire young boys and and girls to believe in their dreams, go after them and watch them soar,” she told a crowd of youngsters at gathered at Kidzania in Dubai Mall. “I started two months ago. The UAE is my 11th international stop.”

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