'Shukran jazeelan': UAE astronaut addresses world in Arabic from spacecraft after liftoff

While aboard the Dragon Endeavour capsule, he also introduced Suhail - blue and white stuffed toy - as the fifth crew member of Crew 6


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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

By Sahim Salim and Angel Lee Tesorero

Published: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 10:29 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 9:40 PM

UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi has addressed the world in Arabic from aboard the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft that is cruising towards the International Space Station.

"Assalamualaikum (traditional Arabic and Islamic greeting that means peace be upon you)," he began, as he announced that he would start off with a few words in Arabic. "Shukran jazeelan (thanks a lot)."

Calling the experience incredible and amazing, he said: "Thank you to everyone, my parents, family, leadership and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. Thank you everyone who trained us and got us ready. Thanks, Nasa and Space X. Go, Dragon! Go, Falcon!"

While aboard the Dragon Endeavour capsule, AlNeyadi also introduced Suhail as the fifth crew member of Crew 6.

This is actually Suhail’s second trip to the orbiting space laboratory. The blue and white stuffed toy was first brought by Hazzaa AlMansoori to the ISS during his eight-day trip in September 2019.

Suhail is the Arabic name for brightest star in the Southern Hemisphere, Canopus. The star rises as August ends, officially signalling the end of summer in the Arabian Peninsula.

Right after the successful lift-off on Thursday, Al Neyadi tweeted: “The next time I address you, I will be aboard the International Space Station. I will be speaking to you carrying the flag of our nation on my arm and Zayed's Ambition in my heart. Keep me in your prayers, and we will soon be in touch.”

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