First Arab woman to become NASA researcher

NASA has appointed a Saudi woman academic who holds a doctorate degree in environmental studies and biotechnology from a UK university as a member of its scientific team.

Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Rashid, president of NASA affiliate the Gulf American Foundation for Space, Technology and Environment, said Majda Aburas was appointed as a member of the regional research team considering her national initiatives to protect the environment.

“It was the result of her continuous work for the environment to solve its problems,” Al-Rashid said.

In a statement on the occasion, Aburas presented this achievement to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, whom he described as a wise and visionary leader. She underscored the king’s efforts to empower Saudi women, including the establishment of the Princess Nourah University and his directive to include women in the Shoura Council and allow them to participate in municipal polls.

Aburas also thanked Prince Turki bin Nasser, head of Presidency for Meteorology and Environment, for his encouragement. “I am in debt to Prince Turki for all my environmental activities aimed at creating a clean environment free of pollution,” he said. The prince had asked her to join Saudi Environmental Society (SENS). Later she became president of its women’s section.

Aburas had played an important role in raising the level of public awareness by designing and delivering environmental education programs and campaigns on a national level. She was the first woman selected to be as an environmental ambassador.

As a member of the staff of the Microbiology Department of King Abdulaziz University’s Faculty of Science, Aburas lectures in different areas, such as general microbiology, general biology, microbiological pollution, physiology of microorganisms, industrial microbiology and ecological pollution.

She is a member of a number of social organizations such as the Jeddah Governorate Higher Women’s Committee, Teba Association, Al-Eman Association for Cancer Diseases, National Research Center in Egypt, King Fahd Research Center, Saudi AIDS Society and the Governorate Urban Observatory Council.

–Source: arabnews