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Touching the Sky: 5 Arab Female Pilots to Know

Captain Nevin Darwish from Egypt and First Officer Alia Al Muhairi from the UAE

Arab women haven’t always been recognized for their monumental achievements, yet here we are in a world where Arab women from all over the Middle East have been making ground breaking moves for themselves, as well as paving the way and inspiring others.

Now flying planes through the proverbial “glass ceiling,” and breaking down barriers as they take on careers that were once seen as being “only for men”. These 5 women have inspired many through their courage and determination to not only enter “a man’s world” but to be highly successful in it too!

Nevin Darwish

Captain Nevin Darwish is the first Arab woman to fly the world’s largest passenger plane, the Airbus 380.

Last year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, Emirates, the Dubai airline, put its female employees in the spotlight to highlight their accomplishments. The airline currently has a female workforce of more than 29,000 from over 150 nationalities; one of them is Egyptian Nevin Darwish and Emirates airline released a video of her to honor International Women’s Day, as she flew the A380 from Dubai to Vienna and back.

Alia Al Muhairi

On board with Captain Darwish, was first officer Alia Al Muhairi, who is the youngest Emirati woman to operate the Emirates A380 plane.

Sheikha Mozah Al Maktoum

She became the first royal from the Al Maktoum family to fly a commercial plane last year. Loyal to the Emirates brand, Sheikah Mozah passed the commercial test in April 2016, but assisted an Emirates plane in 2017 for the first time.

Hanadi Al Hindi

She was the first Saudi woman to gain a commercial pilot’s license in 2005 and was responsible for flying Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal around the world on his private jet, but, as of 2014, she was finally able to fly in her home country. Finally, Al Hindi was granted a license to fly in Saudi Arabia by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

Mariam Al Mansouri

Mariam Al Mansouri was the first female fighter pilot in the UAE and the first to join the air-force in 2007, when the UAE Air Force academy allowed women to join. She has been known to lead an airstrike in 2014 against ISIL in Syria, and flies an F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The Major credits her sister and brother in helping her realize her dreams to fly a commercial plane.

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