Watching the endless parade of glamorous celebrities sashaying down the red carpet every award season gives us the impression that all fame and fortune is handed to them on a plate. We assume that these are people blessed with the right gene for their profession.
Likewise, it’s tantalizing to assume that the country’s literary celebrities belong to a wealthy background where a place at Oxford and Cambridge is the only rite of passage. We cannot deny the fact that world’s most leading talent gets a helpful start in life but it’s not a criterion for success by any means.
For many of the leading stars, the humble beginning of life proved as a driving force behind the actual realization of their dreams. One such story is of successful Pakistani women who hit rock bottom before soaring up to the top of her game.
Hibah Rahmani who holds an important place at NASA has a tale of her own that is filled with hardships and challenges. Being an engineer at the US Space agency, she is an inspiration for all others to overcome adversity to reach their goals. She was born in Pakistan but moved to Kuwait with her family when she was just a one month old. She was raised in the Arabian Gulf until she had to flee with her family in the early 90s due to war between Iraq and Kuwait.
Living in Gulf was a memorable time of her life, her inspiration for stars all came when she used to walk alongside her family on the paths of Persian Gulf or deserts. She always wandered about the astronauts such as Neil Armstrong who were the first ones to place their steps on the moon. This was the time when she developed a liking for space science.
But leaving the Gulf brought many hardships for Hibah and her family. After leaving Gulf they found themselves stranded near the Iraq-Jordon’s border. They reached a camp which was out of tents for any more refugees so her family had to spend the night in the open sky. Although time was hard for her and her family but these were the moments she established a true love for stars. The open sky reminded her more strongly of her goals in life and this was what kept her going all along.
After living in Jordon for some time she came back to Pakistan with her mother and sister. Her father was in US at all this time but Pakistan became the reuniting place for the whole family. It is here where Hibah’s journey for studying stars truly began i.e. towards NASA.
After a ceasefire in 1991, Hibah moved back to Kuwait and decided to pursue engineering. In 1997, she moved to US after her high school. From the University of Central Florida, she completed her Bachelor’s in computer engineering. After that she started as a Systems Engineer for the International Space Station (ISS) for Boeing. Between 2002 and 2005, she completed a more advanced degree i.e. Masters in electrical and computer engineering from Georgia Tech.
Her love for stars finally paid off as she Hibah acquired a position she was offered in 2008 at NASA’s Engineering and Technological Directorate at Kennedy. At this place, she provides technical expertise, perform data reviews, follow launch vehicles testing, and provide technical valuations of the occurring engineering problems. To the NASA’s LSP Twitter and Facebook accounts, Hibah also provides real-time updates to the followers when she is not providing engineering sustenance to the mission staff.
Hibah Rahmani is the greatest inspiration whose story is etched in our minds. She loves her work and her determination has brought her heights of success. Her goals never let her down even in the toughest of times. The only philosophy she followed to reach this point is to stay focused and dream big. And this is what she advises to all the young girls who want achieve such goals in life.