UAE reveals its first ever astronauts for International Space Station mission

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The astronauts will join a mission to the International Space Station. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 03 September 2018

UAE reveals its first ever astronauts for International Space Station mission

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, said the duo will “raise the bar of ambitions for future Emirati generations”
  • UAE has already announced plans to become the first Arab country to send an unmanned probe to orbit Mars

DUBAI: The UAE on Monday named its first two astronauts to go on a mission to the International Space Station.
Emiratis Hazza Al-Mansouri, 34, and 37-year-old Sultan Al-Neyadi were selected from more than 4,000 candidates who applied for the UAE astronaut program.
The UAE’s Vice President and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, said the duo will “raise the bar of ambitions for future Emirati generations.”
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said: “Just as there is no limit to space, there is no limit to our ambitions. We have great confidence in our sons in carrying on excellence.”




Sultan Al-Neyadi and Hazza Al-Mansouri were selected from 4,000 applicants to teh UAE atronaut program. (WAM)


The two men were among nine candidates chosen for a final evaluation phase after they underwent an “intensive assessment” in Russia, by experts from the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
The UAE’s state news agency WAM hailed the step as a “historic achievement for all Arabs.”
One of the astronauts will fly into space in April, on a 10-day Russian mission to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft. The second astronaut will be in reserve.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid last year vowed to send four Emirati astronauts to the space station within five years.

“We also have Dh20 billion investments in the space sector. More importantly, we have human resources whose limits are higher than the sky,” Sheikh Mohammed said in Monday’s announcement.
The UAE has already announced plans to become the first Arab country to send an unmanned probe to orbit Mars by 2021, naming it “Hope.”
The astronaut program would make the UAE one of only a handful of states in the Middle East to have sent a person into space, as it looks to make good on a pledge to become a global leader in space exploration.
The first Arab in space was Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud, who flew on a US shuttle mission in 1985. Two years later, Syrian air force pilot Muhammed Faris spent a week aboard the Soviet Union’s Mir space station.

 


Troops halt Lebanese ‘revolution bus’ over security concerns

Lebanese anti-government protesters flash victory signs as they head to the south of Lebanon on a 'revolution' bus from central Beirut on November 16, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 17 November 2019

Troops halt Lebanese ‘revolution bus’ over security concerns

  • The protest convoy is aiming to reach Nabatieh and Tyre, two cities that have challenged Hezbollah and the Amal Movement in southern Lebanon during weeks of unrest

BEIRUT: A Lebanese “revolution bus” traveling from north to south to unite protesters was halted by troops outside the city of Sidon on Saturday.
The army set up a road block to prevent the bus and a large protest convoy entering Sidon, the third-largest city in the country.
Local media said that the decision had been made to defuse tensions in the area following widespread protests.
Lebanese troops blocked the Beirut-South highway at the Jiyeh-Rumailah checkpoint over “security concerns,” a military source told Arab News.
“Some people in Sidon objected to the crossing of the bus and we feared that problems may take place,” the source added.
A protester in Ilya Square in Sidon said: “Those who do not want the bus to enter Sidon should simply leave the square because there are many who want to welcome the bus.”
The army allowed the bus to enter the town of Rumailah, 2 km from Sidon. “The bus will stop here after nightfall because of security fears and the risk of an accident,” the military source said.
The protest convoy is aiming to reach Nabatieh and Tyre, two cities that have challenged Hezbollah and the Amal Movement in southern Lebanon during weeks of unrest.
Activists said the protest bus “is spreading the idea of a peaceful revolution by unifying the people.”
“The pain is the same from the far north of Lebanon to the south and the only flag raised is the Lebanese flag,” one activist said.
Organizers of the protest convoy rejected claims that the cities of Sidon, Nabatieh and Tyre were reluctant to welcome the bus, and voiced their respect for the Lebanese army decision.

After leaving Akkar the bus passed through squares that witnessed protests in Tripoli, Batroun, Jbeil, Zouk Mosbeh, Jal El Dib and Beirut. Protesters chanted “Revolution” and lined the route of the convoy, turning it into a “procession of the revolution.”
The bus paused in Khalde, where the first victim of the protests, Alaa Abu Fakhr, was shot and killed a few days ago by a Lebanese soldier. The victim’s widow and family welcomed the convoy and protesters laid wreaths at the site of the shooting.
Activists’ tweets on Saturday claimed that life in Beirut’s southern suburbs is as difficult as in other areas of Lebanon.
“As a Shiite girl living in the heart of the southern suburbs, I deny that we are living well and not suffering. We are in a worse position than the rest of the regions,” said an activist who called herself Ruanovsky.
“No one is doing well,” said Wissam Abdallah. “The suburbs have external security and safety, but unfortunately there is a lot of corruption. There are forged car van plates, motorcycle mafia, Internet and satellite mafia, royalties mafia, and hashish and drugs mafia. Municipalities have to deal with these things as soon as possible.”