Hazza Ali BaniMalek speaks to students at the Al Watan School for Boys about his experience working at NASA Ames Research Center at Mountain View, California on Monday. Oct. 10, 2011 in Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Charles Crowell for The National
Hazza Bani Malek speaks to students yesterday at Al Watan School for Boys in Umm Al Qaiwain about his experience working at Nasa Ames Research Center in California.

Boys told reach for stars ... or Nasa



UMM AL QAIWAIN // The Emirati Nasa intern Hazza Bani Malek began his talk at Al Watan School yesterday by asking his young audience what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Most of them shouted out responses such as policeman or army officer - two careers that have tempted many a young Emirati boy to drop out of school early.

"There are many other ways to serve the country," Mr Malek told them. "You can become a doctor, scientist, space explorer …"

Clutching Mr Malek's photograph, nine-year-old Abdul Aziz came up to him after the presentation and said: "I want to go to the moon."

"You have to have ambitions," Mr Malek told him. "Finish school, go to university and you can reach Nasa like I did."

Mr Malek, 21, was one of three Emiratis to become the first non-US citizens to train at Nasa in 2010 as part of an Arab Youth Venture Foundation (AYVF) initiative.

Yesterday, he and his peers – Abdulrahman Kalbat, Reem Ketait and Ahmed Al Menhali – began a roadshow sponsored by Mubadala and Boeing to encourage more government school pupils to become scientists, engineers and astronauts.

Their tour of schools began with talks at four government primary schools, mainly in remote areas of the country, and will continue for the rest of the year.

"Now that I have gained so much knowledge and experience from my time at Nasa, I think I have a responsibility to pass it on to these young people," said Mr Malek, who was surrounded by Umm Al Qaiwain pupils once his speech was done - all of them eager to hear more about outer space.

"Pupils have to be encouraged to continue studying and they need the proper guidance," he said. "Being UAE nationals we need to spend time with them and act as their role models."

The Government has faced a challenge steering Emiratis towards science majors. Only 30 per cent of pupils at government schools opt for the science stream.

Mr Malek, a mechatronics student at the Higher Colleges of Technology, Ras Al Khaimah, said most pupils were "afraid" of science and they had to change that perception.

"Science needs to be made relatable to the real world at schools," he said. "If it is taught with experiments, simulations and games it makes it more interactive and raises their interest."

The programme will also help tackle the issue of dropouts. One in five pupils who starts high school in the UAE drops out by Grade 12. Many boys find more lucrative jobs in the police and army and abandon higher education.

The Nasa internship programme was introduced by AYVF to inspire young Emiratis to take up other career paths. The foundation hopes to send another 20 Emiratis to the California-based Ames Research Center for a 15-week internship with Nasa in 2012.

Lisa LaBonte, the founder of AYVF and the Nasa-UAE programme, said the children needed role models they could "relate to and look up to".

"It is important to motivate them at a young age so that they can dream big and see the possibilities in various fields," she said.

Moza Obaid Al Mazruei, a teacher in Umm Al Qaiwain, agreed that the children needed something more than worksheets and books. "They display amazing enthusiasm when they meet such professionals and can touch and feel the things they learn," she said.

Nadia Fayez, a mother of two young boys at the Umm Al Qaiwain school, said more talks like these were needed to encourage the children to seek knowledge.

"It is nice to see my children learning so much from an Emirati who has gone to Nasa," Mrs Fayez said.

"I think they like it and I hope my boy decides to become an astronaut. That would be wonderful."

This article has been corrected since original publication. The original version stated that Hamad Rajab and Shamma Al Qassim took part in the roadshow this week, whereas it was Abdulrahman Kalbat, Reem Ketait and Ahmed Al Menhali who gave talks this week.

WHAT ARE NFTs?

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are tokens that represent ownership of unique items. They allow the tokenisation of things such as art, collectibles and even real estate.

An NFT can have only one official owner at one time. And since they're minted and secured on the Ethereum blockchain, no one can modify the record of ownership, not even copy-paste it into a new one.

This means NFTs are not interchangeable and cannot be exchanged with other items. In contrast, fungible items, such as fiat currencies, can be exchanged because their value defines them rather than their unique properties.

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Pakistanis at the ILT20

The new UAE league has been boosted this season by the arrival of five Pakistanis, who were not released to play last year.

Shaheen Afridi (Desert Vipers)
Set for at least four matches, having arrived from New Zealand where he captained Pakistan in a series loss.

Shadab Khan (Desert Vipers)
The leg-spin bowling allrounder missed the tour of New Zealand after injuring an ankle when stepping on a ball.

Azam Khan (Desert Vipers)
Powerhouse wicketkeeper played three games for Pakistan on tour in New Zealand. He was the first Pakistani recruited to the ILT20.

Mohammed Amir (Desert Vipers)
Has made himself unavailable for national duty, meaning he will be available for the entire ILT20 campaign.

Imad Wasim (Abu Dhabi Knight Riders)
The left-handed allrounder, 35, retired from international cricket in November and was subsequently recruited by the Knight Riders.

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

MATCH INFO

Cricket World Cup League Two
Oman, UAE, Namibia
Al Amerat, Muscat
 
Results
Oman beat UAE by five wickets
UAE beat Namibia by eight runs
Namibia beat Oman by 52 runs
UAE beat Namibia by eight wickets
UAE v Oman - abandoned
Oman v Namibia - abandoned

PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES

All times UAE (+4 GMT)

Saturday
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur (3.30pm)
Burnley v Huddersfield Town (7pm)
Everton v Bournemouth (7pm)
Manchester City v Crystal Palace (7pm)
Southampton v Manchester United (7pm)
Stoke City v Chelsea (7pm)
Swansea City v Watford (7pm)
Leicester City v Liverpool (8.30pm)

Sunday
Brighton and Hove Albion v Newcastle United (7pm)

Monday
Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion (11pm)

TOUCH RULES

Touch is derived from rugby league. Teams consist of up to 14 players with a maximum of six on the field at any time.

Teams can make as many substitutions as they want during the 40 minute matches.

Similar to rugby league, the attacking team has six attempts - or touches - before possession changes over.

A touch is any contact between the player with the ball and a defender, and must be with minimum force.

After a touch the player performs a “roll-ball” - similar to the play-the-ball in league - stepping over or rolling the ball between the feet.

At the roll-ball, the defenders have to retreat a minimum of five metres.

A touchdown is scored when an attacking player places the ball on or over the score-line.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Seemar’s top six for the Dubai World Cup Carnival:

1. Reynaldothewizard
2. North America
3. Raven’s Corner
4. Hawkesbury
5. New Maharajah
6. Secret Ambition

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others


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