As routine, I was checking my emails when some news from US Embassy stupefied me. It congratulated me and suggested to fill out a visa form. I was stunned and went directly to our principal, Ms. Sobia Alam. I requested her to allow me to sit in the computer lab for another hour so that could fill out the visa form as I didn’t have internet as home.
She inquired with curiosity, “Have you got selected for the Space Camp?”
I answered in a flat tone, “Yes.”
It appeared she grew an inch taller. She shook my hand with spark in her eyes and said, “Congratulations Babar!”
She made me realize that I was going to the United States! I jumped with excitement and ran to celebrate.
NASA Space Camp was a unique exchange program by US Embassy. Only five students from Pakistan were selected to be trained like real astronauts in Alabama. The experience was simply ‘ASESOME’. I flew a Space Shuttle and an F-16 jet, repaired satellites, experienced weightlessness and sometimes 3G (all on earth; through simulations). I made new friends across the globe and met amazing people who taught me lessons for life.
The Space Camp has made a difference in my life, but my life had already changed when I had become a part of Korangi Academy. It is not just an institution, it’s a family. Words cannot express my gratitude for Korangi Academy and Infaq Foundation.
I’m working as a youth activist now. I make short-films which are admired globally. Despite of my incompetence some people regard me as a success story. A boy from such an underprivileged community going to NASA looks like a dream. The dream of Agha Hassan Abedi, hard work of my teachers and love of the family of Korangi Academy made it a reality.
Written By: Babar Ali