In a historic moment for the United Arab Emirates, Nora Al Matrooshi was announced as the first female astronaut from the Arab world. She, along with Mohammed Al Mulla, will be the UAE’s next two astronauts. Al Matrooshi, 28, was selected from a batch of over 4,000 applicants in the second batch of the Emirates Astronauts Programme. She will begin training with the Nasa astronaut’s programme, announced His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Al Matrooshi also expressed great gratitude on Twitter.
— MBR Space Centre (@MBRSpaceCentre) April 10, 2021
“The nation gave me unforgettable moments today. I aim to work hard to script historical moments and achievements that will be etched forever in the memory of our people,” she tweeted. “I thank our wise leadership and the team of the UAE Astronaut Programme. Preparations and work begin now.”
The MBR Space Centre also uploaded a video on the micro-blogging site, in which it said, “Her passion in space began at a young age, as she enjoyed going to stargazing events. She lives by the motto of ‘Do what makes you happy.'”
Born in 1993, Al Matrooshi allegedly possessed a strong penchant for space and astronomy at a very early age, often attending stargazing events too. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from United Arab Emirates University and is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She also ranked first in the UAE’s 2011 Math Olympiad. Al Matrooshi is an engineer at the National Petroleum Construction Company and was also the vice president of the company’s youth council for five years. She also holds an extensive profile in volunteer work and a distinction in the field of science. Al Matrooshi and Al Mulla with train with NASA for future space exploration.