|On July 10, 2017, I boarded an aircraft to fly to my country that I left 29 years ago as a refugee. I had several mixed emotions about my experience of traveling to Afghanistan. Will the Afghani people accept me? Will they judge me for being a female pilot? Will I connect well with the women and children and inspire them to believe in their dreams? Inspire them through STEM?
When I cleared customs and stepped outside of the airport, I saw a storm of people waiting for me with flowers in their hands. There were children, mothers, fathers, reporters and my father waiting to welcome me back to Afghanistan.
During my stay in Afghanistan, I had the opportunity to meet the president! As I walked around the presidential palace, I thought about what I would say to President Ashrah Ghani. When I stepped into his office and saw his warm welcoming smile, I smiled back and we started to discuss the purpose of the Dreams Soar flight. I shared with him the core reason I am flying solo around the world is to promote STEM education to the next generation. President Ghani and the First Lady both expressed their gratitude to the entire Dreams Soar team for all of our hard work.