Hibah Rahmani, is a Pakistani born woman, who survived the war in the Gulf, lived as a refugee in the desert and then became a rocket engineer at NASA.
Hibah’s family moved to Kuwait when she was a baby. Hibah developed her passion for science, space and astronomy as a child back in Pakistan looking up at the sky to admire the moon and stars as she took walks with her family. She was fascinated by the beautiful night sky.
In 1990, her world was turned upside down when Iraq invaded Kuwait and she had to flee with her family. They reached a refugee camp near the Iraqi-Jordanian border. There were no tent left available, so Hibah and her family had to sleep on the ground. In the desert, sleeping under the stars, Hibah furthered developed her love for stars.
“Even though this was a tough time for us, one of the things I remember from that night was having a nice view of the sky with the golden moon and stars, while trying to sleep on the cold desert sand. It reminded me of my goals and dreams.” – Hibah Rahmani
Her father was in the United States when the invasion happened, but the family got reunited back in Pakistan. This incident served as a catalyst for her newfound dream, and she was determined to make to where she can take her study further. Her parents encouraged her as they valued good education and hard work. Hibah and her father bounded over math homework.
With hard work and dedication, In 2008, Hibah was accepted in her current position at NASA’s Engineering and Technology Directorate at Kennedy.
“The happiest and most exciting moment of my job is to watch a rocket take off from the launch pad and go into space.” – Hibah Rahmani
Hibah Rahmani is not only a good example for young girls and women, but she is also a good example of a child who was a refugee and through sheer determination realised her dream and is making a positive mark on this world.