Watch: First Saudi spacewoman thanks UAE astronaut in emotional speech as ISS mission ends

Choking with tears while giving her speech in Arabic, she paused to take a breath before beginning once again in English

By Web Desk

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Published: Mon 29 May 2023, 9:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 May 2023, 12:18 AM

In a short, riveting speech, the first Arab female Muslim astronaut, Rayyanah Barnawi bid farewell to the crew on the International Space Station.

She initially began her speech in Arabic, when she thanked UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, who is also aboard the ISS.


Choking with tears while giving her speech, she paused to take a breath before beginning once again in English.

"Every story comes to an end," she said softly, after clearing her throat. "This is only the beginning of a new era for our country and our region," Barnawi said, as tears rolled down her face.


Gesturing towards all those sitting in the ISS, she added, "So, I's just like to thank everyone here who helped us." Her gratefulness was received by smiles and small nods of acknowledgement.

She choked out another "thanks" as she handed the microphone over, and was immediately met with applause.

Rayyanah Barnawi, 33, became the first Arab female Muslim astronaut to go to space. She and compatriot Ali AlQarni, 31, are part of the Axiom Mission-2 (Ax-2).

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