Reading Now: This Pakistani Space Enthusiast Girl Shattered ALL Stereotypes
Pakistan is often seen as the land of doctors and engineers all over the world for its mind-boggling output of new students as graduates every year. Most parents prefer their children to opt for a professional degree – the most famous being MBBS or Engineering. However, this trend and stereotypical mentality has resulted in a lot of young talented pupils to leave what they love and embrace a subject they have no interest in whatsoever. Any other creative idea or artistic approach towards life is discouraged because parents have to face the society. But today, all these bogus mentalities will be put to rest. This Pakistani space enthusiast girl shattered all stereotypes. Yumna Majeed, country’s first member Space Generation Advisory Council, is here to ring the bells.
‘As a school kid I was told space has no scope in Pakistan. So I decided to create it’: @YumnaMajeed
Read the full interview here: https://t.co/7Al0uoUH0z
— MIT Technology Review Pakistan (@techreview_pk) June 5, 2020
Yumna’s Inspiring Story
Yumna Majeed said in an interview that she was always told that space and astrophysics had no scope in Pakistan and it would be childish and foolish of her to embrace such a field. This fueled her craving desire for space science even more, and she decided to create the so called scope for herself.
As a young kid, she had always been astounded the magic of the cosmos and what lies beyond the meager atmosphere of the Earth. She quoted in her interview one of her incidents being a 9th grade student. A teacher asked the entire class what the pupils wanted to be when they grow up. As expected, all students proceeded to tell that they wanted to become either an engineer or a doctor, and the teacher, quite unsurprisingly was full of applaud for them. However, Yumna was the odd one out. She expressed her desire to become an astronaut. The entire class laughed at her.
Her teacher had a big frown to react with and told Yumna to get back to reality and to embrace the fact that space is not even real and whatever Allah has created lies here on Earth. Moon landings are fake and being an astronaut is not a real thing. This stupid teacher did not even realize what consequences of her words would Yumna have to face.
After her superstitious and science illiterate teacher thrashed Yumna’s zeal and confidence, other students started bullying her for her ambition. Her peers started making fun of her and thought that she was a mental patient. Depressed and tired of her surroundings she switched her class. But even there, she received little to none appreciation for her valid passion. She was constantly made fun of and not dealt with seriously.
Now Yumna says that just because you think different does not make you wrong, others are just never ready to accept the very facts. She decided to work hard and work her way up to the top from where she could debunk the stupid myths and misconceptions which had no validation from any scientific knowledge.
Her Way To Glory
After realizing the fact that Pakistan had nothing to offer her in the field she wanted, she went for her second most favorite profession. She became a medical lab technology student in Allama Iqbal Medical College. While she did enjoy her interest in genetics, dinosaurs and other relevant things, there was something that kept biting her back as she knew that there were many students like her who could not achieve anything because of this country’s poor education system and century old concepts.
She even tried contacting SUPARCO, Pakistan’s space agency but her interests were declined and she never received a response. From there onwards, she decided to take the game into her very own hands. She approached different scientific communities, joined many astrophysics forums and raised awareness for many space related topics. She joined LAST (Lahore Astronomical Society) and many more. She even received the personally signed telescope by Scott Kelly, who has just recently made the record of living on the International Space Station for the longest time in human history.
She is one of the rare few in the world to possess this. Finally after attaining a tonne of exposure in scientific communities because of her passion and actual ability to perform remarkably in what she loved, she was invited to Vienna, where she became Pakistan’s first ever representative in Space Generation Advisory Council. She is now a proud member of the company and works with one of the most genius brains in the world and lives the life she always wanted, busy in exploring the cosmos.
Pakistan’s Ill Fortune With Space Exploration and Space Science
The writer of this article being himself an astrophysics fanboy can confirm that Pakistani institutions and in general the education system has nothing to offer to students who love space science and rocket engineering. Pakistan has mostly neglected the space advancement and technology because apparently, there are many more trivial issues to be resolved. People in Pakistan are illiterate when it come to the knowledge of space science on what impact it has had on humanity.
Space Exploration is not even in the last of priorities in any government’s agenda because it does not make sense for an average Pakistani to spend millions of dollars on a vehicle that will not even provide people something to benefit from. There are thousands of Pakistani students full of vigor to embrace space exploration but they lack all the moral support they need for it.
Pakistan launched its last humble satellite in 2011 and since then SUPARCO has chosen to go silent. There are no projects, no plans, no research whatsoever. Pakistan’s presence in the Space Race around the world is limited to the Chinese carrying Pakistani flags wherever they go in space. A pathetic time in Pakistan’s scientific history.
Yumna Majeed’s Goal
Yumna Majeed has very openly expressed her goals for Pakistan. She aims on debunking the fake myths that have long rotten the minds of people. She aims on nullifying the baseless argument that there is no scope for space in Pakistan. She wants to tell Pakistanis that being an astronaut or a space scientist is one of most prestigious jobs this world offers. It is one of the most complicated subjects and has the very power to demystify our origin and the very fabric of reality. All the equations of Einsteins that we look in awe to today are a result of Albert Einstein trying the reveal the nature of cosmos.
Yumna has direct links with the top space research centers in the world, NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency. She plans on advocating for Pakistan and taking the best talent from Pakistan to where they can actually get a chance to show their skills rather than rotting themselves in the ignorance of people.
Recently, SpaceX and NASA sent two astronauts to the ISS and Yumna was glued to the entire mission. Not only Yumna, but the entire world. Where America and the entire world celebrated a huge leap in space travel, Pakistani media did not even cover the event.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.