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The Arab Space Pioneers Programme, the first intensive scientific training scheme of its kind in the Arab World, is now under way, with seven future stars training with world-leading experts.

These students have been selected for the first phase of the seminal Arab space training programme which attracted more than 37,000 applications. They are participating in an intensive training schedule covering everything from space science, artificial intelligence, technology and robotics to engineering and space entrepreneurship under the Talent Track phase which began last month.

The cohort includes: Muhammad Al-Sayed Subai, 18; Salah Al-Din Jalal, 18; and Nouran Al-Sayed, 17, from Egypt; Nouran Al-Youssef, 17 and Fatima Al-Abdullah, 17, from Saudi Arabia; Muhammad Zakaria, 16, from Algeria; and Muhammad Al-Joroub, 17, from Jordan.

The training sessions were conducted remotely and held in partnership with the Space Foundation, an American non-profit organisation founded in 1983 which provides a gateway for information, education and collaboration for space exploration, science and activities related to space.

The Arab Space Pioneers Programme was launched in July 2020 to coincide with the Emirates Mars Mission, which made history by becoming the first Arab space mission to explore Mars. Last month’s launch of the Talent Track phase represents a step forward in preparing the next generation of Arab space scientists and explorers to carry the torch of Arab space exploration into the future.

Abdulla Al Shehhi, Acting Head of Space Science and Technology, UAE Space Agency, said, “Engaging our talented youth in the possibilities of space is critical to developing a world-leading space sector. As we pursue new horizons in this future industry, we must invest in the people, just as much as the advanced technologies we need to explore new frontiers. The Talent Track phase of the Arab Space Pioneers Programme is an important step forward in this direction. It reflects the vision of the UAE’s leadership that any Emirati achievement is an achievement for the Arab world, which can act as a force for good and a source of inspiration for millions of people.”

He added, “The Talent Track sessions have been designed in line with international best practices to empower Arab students, motivate them and inspire their passion for this sector. The Arab Space Pioneers Programme embodies the role the UAE plays in investing in Arab minds. It aims to translate passion for space into a tangible contribution to the dynamic ecosystem we are building. This programme also enhances Arab space cooperation, under the umbrella of the 14-member Arab Space Cooperation Group.”

For her part, Shelley Brunswick, Chief Operating Officer of the Space Foundation, said, “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the UAE Space Agency for supervising the innovative Arab Space Pioneers Program. It has attracted some of the best talents from the Arab world and inspired students to deepen their understanding of the space sector and develop new skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The UAE’s rapid development in all space-related fields is commendable and underscores its commitment to develop a knowledge and innovation-driven economy that also enhances cooperation with the US, the European Union and others.

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