Sultan Al Neyadi's father welcomes him back from space with touching poem

Saif Al Neyadi told his son that he was the 'hope of a nation'

UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi with his father Saif. Photo: Instagram
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The father of Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi described his son as the "hope of a nation" in a poem to celebrate his historic space mission.

Saif Al Neyadi read the poem aloud to his son in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday, only two days after he returned to Earth from his six-month stint on the International Space Station.

His father has been supportive of his mission throughout, including attending the launch in Florida earlier this year and speaking to Dr Al Neyadi via a live call while he was in space.

A video of him reading the poem from his phone was shared on X, formerly Twitter.

"Congratulations to the country," Mr Al Neyadi said to Dr Al Neyadi and Hazza Al Mansouri, who was the first Emirati into space when in 2019 he was part of an eight-day mission.

"You are the pride of nations in every circumstance. You are the hope of a nation and our role models.

"With your knowledge, you have achieved greatness. Repay the kindness of the homeland with goodness and deeds.

"Let knowledge always reside in the minds of the people. Oh heroes, you are now part of the nation of glory. What is achieved here is truly remarkable. The nation's hopes are pinned on you."

Dr Al Neyadi will remain in Houston for several days for medical tests to ensure he is ready to adapt to gravity again.

He will then return to the UAE for celebrations in his honour, with homecoming dates to be announced soon by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

Officials from the space centre have visited Dr Al Neyadi, including director general Salem Al Marri, who said that the astronaut is in "great health".

"I met Dr Al Neyadi after his six-month mission in space," Mr Al Marri posted on X on Wednesday.

"He is in great health, and the first thing he said to me was: 'I am ready for the next mission'.

"This embodies the spirit of the UAE Astronaut Programme. I am very excited for what's next. Stay tuned."

Sultan Al Neyadi returns to Earth - in pictures

Updated: September 07, 2023, 3:03 PM