Former Afghan refugee, female pilot landing in Bali on solo flight around the world

Former Afghan refugee, Shaesta Waiz, and her plane. Photo via Dreams Soar
Former Afghan refugee, Shaesta Waiz, and her plane. Photo via Dreams Soar

Afghan-American pilot Shaesta Waiz is due to land in Bali on Tuesday afternoon, one destination of many during her solo world tour.

The 29-year-old, piloting a Beechcraft Bonanza A36, will be coming in from Singapore’s Seletar Airport, which was her 14th of 34 stops in at least 18 different countries.

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Waiz is scheduled to land in Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport at 12:35pm and is supposed to be greeted by officials from relevant agencies, including Airnav Bali, Pertamina, and Biomantara, according to Uzone.

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After being greeted with a welcoming ceremony, Naiz is expected to head over to Kuta, where she is scheduled to stay three days, before setting off for her next stop, Darwin.

Waiz, an engineering graduate, has said her 90-day solo journey around the world is to inspire the next generation of STEM & aviation professionals and has conducted multiple outreach events at each of her stops.

She kicked off her journey, which she calls the “Dreams Soar Mission,” in Daytona, Florida in July and will travel some 5,800km before circling around back to Florida in August.

“Dreams are universal and don’t belong to just a certain group of people. So attempt every dream like they belong to you because they do,” says Waiz.

Waiz’s family came over the US in 1987 at the end of the Soviet War in Afghanistan. Her dedication to flying has seen her become the youngest certified civilian pilot from Afghanistan.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article included the name of the hotel where Waiz is staying, but it’s been removed after security concerns were submitted by her PR. 

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