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Muslim student in BBC’s 100 Women leads the team building Kyrgyzstan’s first satellite

Muslim student in BBC’s 100 Women leads the team building Kyrgyzstan’s first satellite

Alina is one of over two dozen Muslims from equal number of Muslim and non-Muslim states who figured in BBC “100 Women”

Alina Anisimova

Mumbai: Alina Anisimova – the 19-year-old Muslim student, is included on the list of 100 most influential and inspiring females of the world. And, the reason behind her inclusion in the coveted list is her dream project to train and send young girls from Kyrgyzstan to space.

Alina Anisimova is a student programmer. Alina leads the Kyrgyz Girls’ Space School, which aims to send the country’s first satellite into space, BBC wrote about Alina.

Alina is one of over two dozen Muslims from equal number of Muslim and non-Muslim states who figured in “100 Women” published by BBC every year.

“BBC 100 Women names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world every year and shares their stories”, it said.

“It’s been a momentous year for women’s rights around the globe, so in 2018, BBC 100 Women will reflect the trailblazing women who are using passion, indignation and anger to spark real change in the world around them”, BBC said.

Ranging in age from 15 to 94, and from more than 60 countries, the BBC 100 Women 2018 list includes leaders, trailblazers and everyday heroes. Alina of Kyrgyzstan is one of them.

Women make up less than 10 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and construction and manufacturing graduates, according to the U.N. Development Programme.

“Some girls don’t have courage to pursue such studies because it’s not very common in our country, and the majority of parents discourage their daughters from pursuing this,” Alina Anisimova, who is leading the Kyrgyzstan’s satellite project, said.

“I wish that in the future, people will not consider it so surprising to see young women who do welding or who are involved in engineering,” the computer programmer is quoted as saying by Reuters.

The project was started by Kloop Media, a local media group, after a chance meeting with senior NASA staff Alexander MacDonald, who suggested the ambitious idea.

According to Kloop’s crowdfunding page for the project, the construction and launch of Kyrgyzstan’s first CubeSat will cost up to $150,000. The final stages of the build will be made in partnership with a Lithuanian company. US space agency NASA describes CubeSat as being the smallest and cheapest satellite used for space exploration.

“(Building a satellite) can serve as a powerful social and political signal,” MacDonald told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “It can send important messages into who is able to participate and build the future.”

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