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Emirates supports women role models by hosting Afghan pilot Shaesta Waiz
Shaesta Waiz, founder of Dreams Soar Inc and Bakhita Al Muheiri, Emirates Boeing 777 First Officer at the Emirates Aviation College. Photo credit: Emirates

Emirates supports women role models by hosting Afghan pilot Shaesta Waiz

Emirates supports the Dreams Soar global mission through two female aviators

Shaesta Waiz, the keen aviator who seeks to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world, has just landed in Dubai, UAE.

Shaesta Waiz, 29, is the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan who seeks to empower the next generation around the globe in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as she makes a historic solo flight around the world.

Emirates recently hosted Waiz for a Boeing 777 simulator challenge in Dubai. Waiz, founder and pilot of Dreams Soar, Inc. (DSI), a non-profit organisation whose mission is to inspire and empower young females to become the next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and aviation professionals, through a global outreach mission.

Emirates “wants to grow the next generation of female pilots, by creating an environment that retains, nurtures and values them so they are able to progress and take a wider role within our industry”, Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Emirates airline said.

Emirates has the first Arab woman to Captain the Airbus A380, as well as the youngest Emirati female pilot operating the A380.  Additionally, Emirates employs women who are highly skilled professionals working as aircraft engineers, mechanics and aircraft maintenance and repairs technicians.

In Dubai, Shaesta Waiz trialled the simulator with Bakhita Al Muheiri, an Emirates Boeing 777 First Officer, at the Emirates Aviation College.

At 24 years, Bakhita Al Muheiri, Emirates Boeing 777 First Officer, is one of Emirates’ youngest female Emirati pilots. She earned her wings in 2016 and has accumulated over 1,100 flying hours after completing the airline’s National Cadet Pilot Programme.

Shaesta Waiz, founder of Dreams Soar Inc and Bakhita Al Muheiri, Emirates Boeing 777 First Officer at the Emirates Aviation College. Photo credit: Emirates

Emirates highlights female role models in aviation with simulator challenge featuring Shaesta Waiz and Bakhita Al Muheiri. Photo credit: Emirates

Al Muheiri described the experience as “inspirational”.  “I am truly inspired by Shaesta’s story. As the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan, she has demonstrated that the world is full of possibilities and when we expose females to a wide range of careers in STEM and aviation we boost their interest to enter fast-moving sectors with a wealth of opportunities” Al Muheiri said.

Waiz hopes to encourage more females to earn their wings with her solo mission, which she’s undertaken as part of her non-profit Dreams Soar. Her dream is to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world.

Shaesta Waiz, 29, was born in a refugee camp at the end of the Soviet war in Afghanistan before immigrating with her family to the United States.

Her mission is to fly around the world to inspire other women to follow their dream.

“An airplane doesn’t know if you are a girl or boy, what your religion or background is,” the pilot said after her Emirates challenge. “It reacts based on the input of the pilot.”

Watch both pilots command the Boeing 777 simulator and share their personal experiences:

After meeting with Emiartes Boeing 777 pilot, Waiz said: “As Emirates is helping to pave the way for many more young women, let us work together and expand our resources to create brighter futures for our tomorrow.”

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About Sana Jamal

Sana Jamal is a journalist from Pakistan who writes for local and international news media. She also manages Islamabad Scene
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