20 September, 2006

She Is An Inspiration

"Anousheh Ansari, has been officially named to the Soyuz TMA-9 primary crew. The first female spaceflight participant will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 18, 2006 en route to the International Space Station (ISS) along with the Expedition 14 crew members: NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin." So began Anoushe's journey to fulfilling her childhood dream! And at the same time becoming, not only the first woman and first Muslim 'space tourist', but the first Muslim woman to travel to space and the first Iranian born to achieve that!

As the Khaleej Times says: IT IS not every day that we get to celebrate the achievements of people from the Muslim world. This is why the shining example of Anousheh Ansari, the Iranian born US entrepreneur, who has become the first female space tourist is so heartening. More heartening is the fact that she is the first Muslim and first Muslim woman to go into space. Ms Ansari blasted her way into space aboard Russian Soyuz TMA-9 capsule from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on Monday.

To some, it might seem an enormous amount of money to be spent and 'waste' on such, but still - she is inspiration to many; the Muslim women, in particular. I wonder: could she have achieved even a fraction of these achievements - in education, then business and now being in space - hadn't she migrated to the United States of America? It's only there, the US, that could give her the: liberty, resources and the conditions for fulfilling her dream; and such dreams. If only the US could offer the same positiveness and constructiveness in its foreign policy; towards the developing world in particular.

Note: There have been other Muslims in outer space before, from the former Soviet Republics; and most notably - the Saudi Prince, Sultan.