Members

Joline Rukab

Commercial Pilot

First Female Palestinian Pilot,
Flight Instructor,
Bachelor degree in Aviation Management,
First Arab pilot to win the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships and Awards (AEMSF).

“Born and raised in the conflict torn city of Jerusalem, it was a far-fetched dream for a girl from a working-class family to become a pilot. When I joined the Royal Jordanian Air Academy in Jordan, I was not aware that I will be the first Palestinian woman to hold a pilot license. Upon completion of the flight training, I was immediately hired to fly for the Palestinian Airlines based out of Gaza. Due the violent turmoil in the region, the airport was shut down and the airlines ceased operations.

I returned to Jordan a few years later to complete my CFI rating, thanks to the generous gift of Melody Feldman, and worked as a ground and flight instructor at Mideast Aviation Academy in Amman. Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain proper work authorization because of my nationality and had to resign.

Back in Jerusalem I got involved in media and conflict resolution efforts that took me around the world and gave me tremendous exposure and eye-opening experiences. I met my husband in New York and settled in the US where we were blessed with three precious children. While I greatly enjoyed working in the field of media and journalism, I knew that if there was any chance of me getting back into the aviation world, it would be here in the US. I enrolled in a Bachelor’s Degree program in aviation management at the Farmingdale State University of New York. With the help, support and inspiration from the 99’s, I won the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship, twice! I was honored to be the first Arab to win this prestigious award and graduate with Latin Honors.
My dream is to keep inspiring students from the MENA region, especially females, to follow their passion and pursue a career in aviation by providing support while navigating their flight training admissions process and beyond.”

Joline Rukab
First Female Palestinian Pilot,
Flight Instructor,
Bachelor degree in Aviation Management,
First Arab pilot to win the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships and Awards (AEMSF).

Palestine

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