A Tale of Star-Sailor in Making: Nora Al Matrooshi, First Female Astronaut from Arab

On Saturday, April 10 2021 when the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the two winners chosen for the next Arab Space Mission, barely anyone would have thought that his one tweet will become a historic moment. Indeed, space missions in themselves are significant for any country, but this time it was a name that created ripples across the earth- Nora Al Matrooshi, became the first female astronaut from the Arab world.

Hailing from the family of sailors from her mother’s side, Nora was born in Sharjah in 1993. While becoming an astronaut was her childhood dream, she never thought she would be the ‘first one’ from the Arab region.

In an interview with Dubai Media Office, Matrooshi said that her goal was to become an astronaut but, “It wasn’t to be the first, or the second or the last.” The 28-year old was selected from over 4,000 candidates along with Mohammad Al Mulla.

An Imaginary Tent Spacecraft Seeded the Dream of Walking in The Space

Who would have thought that imaginations have the power of conceiving the dreams that would create history? Well, Nora Al Matrooshi is a live example, proving that young dreamers have the capability of achieving anything.

“I first started dreaming of becoming an astronaut when my teacher in kindergarten asked us to build a tent and pretend it was a spacecraft that was taking us to the Moon,” she said during the recent press conference. “Since then I’ve become extremely passionate about becoming an astronaut.”

https://twitter.com/MBRSpaceCentre/status/1380820144675508224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1380820144675508224%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.vogue.me%2Fculture%2Fnora-al-matrooshi-first-arab-female-astronaut%2F

Truly, young and curious minds pave the way for the future.

Nora also feels that if she can make her dreams come true then anyone can. It is the only matter of having an ambition, powered by determination and one may find the opportunities that are not hard to discover and turn them into success.

Another glad moment for her was when she received a public congratulation from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 “We announce the first Arab female astronaut, among two new astronauts, selected from over 4,000 candidates to be trained with NASA for future space exploration missions,” His Highness said. “Congratulations Noura Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla.”

https://twitter.com/HHShkMohd/status/1380821550304223234?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1380821550304223234%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Femirateswoman.com%2Fthe-first-female-emirati-astronaut-nora-al-matrooshi%2F

Well, such an amazing achievement rightfully deserves acknowledgment from the leaders. Isn’t it!

Her Accomplishments Before Becoming the First Female Astronaut from Arab

Being chosen from around 4000 candidates and becoming the first Arab female astronaut is not the only feat achieved by the young lady.

Her list of accomplishments includes:

  • Achieving the first position in the UAE for the 2011 International Mathematical Olympiad.
  • Was shortlisted for 2013 UAE Youth Ambassadors Programme, South Korea.
  • Represented the UAE at the UN International Youth Conference, 2018 & 2019
  • Member of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Handles projects at the National Petroleum Construction Company.

Currently, she is training in-house in the emirate of Dubai, from learning to speak Russian to flying lessons along with her colleagues.

With the hope that she would one day soon join a space mission, we wish her the best for her future endeavors. May you keep shining the ‘Star-Sailor’!

Inputs from Dubai Media Office, WAM and Twitter

Riya
I am a content strategist and writer, and like to post on business, technology, people, places, money---and food!

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