3-generation Indian family inspired by UAE astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori
Dubai - The family is originally from Goa but have been residing in Dubai for over 20 years.
Among the crowd at a packed hall at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) listening to Hazzaa AlMansoori's radio call from the International Space Centre (ISS) on Saturday, September 28, was an Indian family of three generations.
The Fernandes family - composed of grandmother Maria, 79; husband and wife Riji, 50, and Andrea, 39; and their kids Ryan, 17, and Rhea, 6 - said the achievement of Hazzaa being the first Emirati in space is an honour not exclusive to UAE nationals but is also shared by expats in the country.
The family is originally from Goa but have been residing in Dubai for over 20 years. Ryan, who is into robotics, said the UAE is a land of opportunities. "Everyone is given an opportunity to excel," said Ryan, who recently participated in the Dubai Future Accelerators programme for innovation.
Ryan added that his concept project of creating nanobots that can be injected into the human bloodstream to isolate cancerous tumors is inspired by Hazzaa. "I feel proud to see how Hazzaa how achieved his ambition to become an astronaut. I read how he underwent intensive training and this has inspired me to also work hard to turn my dream into reality."
Six-year old Rhea said that hearing about Hazzaa's routine has inspired her to study about space.
Looking back, Riji, who works as an IT manager, shared that when he first came to the country in 1998, real estate construction was in full swing.
"There was no Metro, Burj Khalifa or The Dubai Mall yet but you could see that the infrastructure for a cosmopolitan city was being built at a fast pace level. In a brief period of time, the UAE and Dubai in particular has achieved a lot - and many of these have made to the Guinness World Records. And now, the country is shooting for the stars," he said.