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Sheikha Aisha Becomes the First Bahraini Royal Female Fighter Pilot

Courtesy of Bahrain News Agency.

Sheikha Aisha bint Rashid Al Khalifa has become the first female fighter pilot from Bahrain’s royal family. A graduate of Britain’s prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (which was also attended by Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan, Prince William, and Prince Harry), the Bahraini royal took to the skies solo in a BAE Hawk warplane on Thursday as her grandfather, Bahraini Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman, proudly watched on, describing the groundbreaking moment as a “unique event and a remarkable accomplishment”, according to Bahrain News Agency. Sheikha Aisha holds the rank of pilot officer in the Royal Bahraini Air Force, and joins the ranks of trailblazing female pilots from the Gulf.

Last year, Sheikha Mozah Al Maktoum made headlines as the first female commercial pilot from Dubai’s royal family. Meanwhile, in 2016, Aisha Al Mansouri became the first Emirati A380 female pilot by flying for Etihad Airways. Her sister, Major Mariam Al Mansouri, became the first Emirati female fighter jet pilot after graduating from Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa bin Zayed Air College in 2007.

Also making history was Hanadi Zakaria Al Hindi, who became Saudi Arabia’s first female to earn a pilot license. She’s joined by both Kuwaiti Munirah Mohammad Buruki, who earned her wings at the age of 19 and went on to become Kuwait’s first female pilot, and Maisa Hazeem, who was the first Bahraini female to qualify as first officer for Gulf Air in 2007.

Middle Eastern women continue to push boundaries. Just a few days ago, Huda Kattan was named as one of America’s richest self-made women by Forbes Magazine. The Iraqi beauty mogul came in at No 37 on the 60-woman list. Meanwhile, in May, Nadine Labaki walked away from the 2018 Cannes Film Festival with the prestigious Jury Prize for her highly-acclaimed Capernaum, making her the second Lebanese national to take home the prestigious award. And in February, Ingie Chalhoub was presented with the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur— the highest French order of merit— in Paris at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with her husband Patrick Chalhoub.

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