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Known for Being

The first Egyptian woman and the first Arab woman to earn a pilot's license.

One of the first female pilots in the world and the first Egyptian woman to fly a plane from Cairo to Alexandria, Egypt.

Major Accomplishments

Lotfia Elnadi was the first Arab woman pilot, and Egypt's first female aviator. When she was just a young girl, she came across an article about aviation saying that a new flying school had opened in Cairo. Immediately, she knew she wanted to one day fly her own plane. However, she had a strict upbringing and had to tell her father that she was at a study group as she secretly attended flying lessons twice a week. She worked in Cairo Airport before getting her license in order to be near planes and to cover the fees that her parents wouldn't pay to support her.

Eventually, after completing her training, Elnadi obtained her pilot's license and made history when she became the first Egyptian woman to fly a plane solo from Cairo to Alexandria in 1933 in an international race. She was the second woman in the world to fly solo, after Amilia Earhart, and became an Egyptian national treasure, inspiring numerous other Egyptian women to also join the flying school and become pilots.

Last modified: 01/08/2019

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