Kuwaiti blogger Mariam has a very compelling entry about Arabs in space.
In her post she mentions the names of the Arabs that have made it into space, including a Saudi prince, a Syrian and a Lebanese-American woman that died in the Challenger shuttle tragedy.
Mariam also suggests the possibility that there might be a Jordanian in space soon via a joint training program between Jordan and Russia. Here is the story.
I never heard of this space program before, but I’m hopeful that one day we will have a Jordanian astronaut! It really could happen.
I never said she couldn’t, I was specific on the space centre thing. I’ve already seen her weblog, very inspiring. And I am serious about the Kuwaiti thing.
Yowza Arash. Take it easy. Your comment rings a bit harsh on Maryam. I know you are in the ‘Middle East Needs Reform Now’ mode but Maryam has a dream, a vision, perhaps even a plan from the things on her site.
These days its hard to predict what tomorrow will bring. I think it is still all right to pursue your passion. And even though many of us are skeptical and jaded about things, sometimes it’s nice to see someone who stays above the fray — out of the politics — and pursues something with verve. They are often the ones that bring about real change while the rest of us are fighting about the ‘how’ or too cynical to act.
Maryam, I hope you do make it there one day as well … and I think you just might 🙂
I wouldn’t take the major space centre in Jordan promise too seriously. Russians and the young king have one thing in common, they BS a lot! Your best bet is to jump on the reform bandwagon in Kuwait and have the Emir finance your trip to the edge of the sky. What better to show for artificial reforms than sending a female Kuwaiti to space!
Thanks Natasha for mentioning my post in your blog. Yes, there will be a Jordanian will go to the space soon and also a base for training Jordanian astronauts in Middle East. I hope I will be there someday 😉
It would be really cool if we got a Jordanian into space.
Just for the curious:
By convention, an astronaut employed by the Russian Aviation and Space Agency or its Soviet predecessor is called a cosmonaut. "Cosmonaut" is an anglification of the Russian word космонавт
(kosmonavt), which in turn derives from the Greek words kosmos, meaning "universe" and nautes, meaning
"sailor" (ástron means "star"). For the most part, "cosmonaut" and "astronaut" are synonyms in both languages, and the
usage of choice on both sides is often dictated by political reasons. However in the United States, the term "astronaut" is
typically applied to the individual as soon as training begins, while in Russia, an individual is not labelled a cosmonaut until
successful space flight. On March 14, 1995
astronaut Norman Thagard became the first American to ride to space
on-board a Russian launch vehicle, arguably becoming the first American cosmonaut in the process.
European space travelers are called "spationauts" (an ill-constructed word formed Latin spatium, "space", and Greek
nautes, "sailor"). While Europe has not yet produced manned spaceships, it has sent men in space in cooperation with the
Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, the United States of America.
The term taikonaut is sometimes used in English for astronauts from China by Western news media. The term was coined in May 1998 by Chiew Lee Yih from Malaysia, who used it first in newsgroups.
Almost simultaneously, Chen Lan coined it for use in the Western media based on
the term "tàikōng" (太空), Chinese for
space. In Chinese itself, however, the term yuhangyuan
(宇航員 yǔháng yuán) ("space navigator") has long been used and refers to astronauts and cosmonauts, and
the closest term using taikong is taikongren, which literally means space human. Official English text issued by the Chinese
government uses the term "astronaut." It is unclear whether the Chinese apply the honorific at training or successful mission
If Russians gonna put him/her up there, that will make him/her a cosmonaut. I think the Soviets were going to do an Iraqi too, I remember something from way back when I heard about the Syrian fellow.