MPA were honoured to hear from the awe-inspiring Anousheh Ansari and her story of defying all odds (Muslim female with Iranian background) to realise her dream and become a professional astronaut and the first female private space explorer.
Anousheh is a proud Muslim Iranian-American who deeply values her cultural heritage. Anousheh passed on her experience of defeating barriers, maintaining positivity, dreaming big, and overcoming multiple hurdles to achieve success. Anousheh recalled a story of her youth, where she told teachers of her dream to travel to space. Anousheh is fortunate to have achieved her amazing dream and encouraged all of professionals to “dream big and go after your dreams.”
She was open about how difficult her journey was and how many preconceived ideas people had of her before she even spoke. Anousheh dreamed of space exploration since her childhood in Iran. Anousheh immigrated to the United States as a teenager who did not speak English.
Her reflection of her time in space and looking back at earth gave the audience an insight of how insignificant the borders we draw up around us are. “I could not see any borders. Walls had no meaning. There was nothing dividing us.”
Anousheh Ansari is an engineer and co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems. She is also a social entrepreneur. Her previous business accomplishments include serving as co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc. (TTI).