ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, based in Montreal, welcomed Captain Shaesta Waiz yesterday. Described as “the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan”, Waiz was a year-old when her family left the refugee camp that had become home, in Afghanistan. She grew up in California, and attended Embry-Riddle, an aeronautical university, in Daytona, Beach, Florida.
“the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan”Listen
Waiz, who persevered and worked hard for scholarships to pursue her dream, is now an ambassador for her alma mater. In a program she initiated, to help increase the participation of women in the aviation industry and the STEM fields, she is embarking on a solo-flight to broaden the reach, and encounter young women around the world.
It was not until she faced her own fear of flying, following high school graduation, that the idea of flight even occured to Waiz. A flight from California to Florida for a vacation won her over. Upon landing her only desire was to find out how she could learn to fly.
33 different stops across 18 countries in 5 continents
What may be the journey of a lifetime, begins on June 2nd. Captain Shaesta Waiz, who will turn 29 during the adventure, will be the youngest woman to complete a round-the-world solo flight. She will land in 33 cities, in 18 countries, on 5 continents. She wants to demonstrate to young women, what is possible with determination. And it won’t be hard for her to convey her enthusiasm for the world of aviation. Her current visit to Montreal is to arrange landings and meetings with the ICAO members from all her ports of call.
A homecoming just after Ramadan in Kabul
Captain Waisz will be welcomed and hosted for four days by the UN in Kabul. Her father will also be there at the time, and all the family she has yet to meet. Her arrival is scheduled to coincide with the Eid festivities following Ramadan, so it is sure to be an amazing welcome!