From refugee camps to NASA, Pakistani woman’s amazing journey
From refugee camps to NASA, Pakistani woman’s amazing journey.
Hibah Rehmani Survived the Gulf war, lived as a Refugee in Jordan 🇯🇴 and then went on to become an avionics engineer at NASA.
Rehmani was born in Pakistan but Moved to Kuwait with her family when she was only a month old. That was until war broke out in the country. When Iraq invaded Kuwait 🇰🇼 in 1990, she had to flee with her family to a refugee camp near the Iraq-Jordan border. The night her family reached the refugee camp, there were no tents available. Her family had to #Spend the nights under the open desert sky.
It was a tough time for us, one of the things I remember from that night was gazing at the sky, the moon & stars, while trying to sleep on the cold desert sand. That was when I realised that I wanted to be in a profession where I could discover space.
Her father was in the US at the time of the invasion & after a brief stay in Jordan, she travelled with her mother & sister to Pakistan, where the family reunited. They stayed in Pakistan for a year before eventually moving to the US, where Hibah was able to pursue her dream of becoming an engineer at the University of Central Florida. After graduating, she started working for Boeing, which assigned her to work at the Kennedy Space Center as a systems engineer for the International Space Station.
I was involved with integrated testing of ISS components and sometimes astronauts would stop by to either view or participate in the testing. It was then when I got more interested in this line of work & applied to NASA. I was fortunate & blessed enough to be selected by NASA.
While working full time at the Kennedy Space Center, I obtained an MS in electrical & computer engineering from Georgia Tech, she said. In 2008, Rahmani accepted her current position at NASA’s Engineering & Technology Directorate at Kennedy.
I work as an avionic & flight controls engineer and support NASA’s Launch Services Program, working on expendable launch vehicles & rockets.
I provide technical expertise, follow launch vehicle testing, perform data reviews & provide technical assessments of engineering issues.
Working very closely with astronauts inspired me to become one, & that is one of my life goals now, she added.
Talking about her visit to Pakistan, Hibah said, I am meeting so many school students in Pakistan and they have inspired me instead of me inspiring them. Their questions & interest in this field amazes me. They asked me so many questions about space. I had not thought about such things before. If students, especially girls in Pakistan, get the support of their families & opportunities like I did, I am sure they can do wonders in the world.
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