One one level, doesn’t this preferential treatment to one particular religion bridge the so called separation of church and state?
Taking seriously President Barack Obama’s advice to reach out to the Muslim world, NASA has announced that Arab students from the United Arab Emirates would be joining its internship program.
As part of an agreement between NASA and the non-profit Arab Youth Venture foundation, up to a dozen UAE students are to be chosen annually to participate in projects ranging from the space shuttle, space station, solar system exploration and aeronautical research missions.
NASA’s Ames Research Center in California announced that three university students from the UAE were the first to start the program that will give them “hands-on experience with computer software and technology, and NASA engineering expertise,” according to a NASA press release.
“Under this program, the goodwill generated by students working side by side with our NASA scientists and researchers will serve as a bridge between the USA and UAE, opening the doors for future collaboration in scientific research. I can only imagine what discoveries might be achieved through such cooperation,” S. Pete Worden, director of NASA Ames, was quoted as saying.
The participation of UAE students came on the heels of statements made by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who revealed that Obama wanted his agency to conduct more outreach with Muslim nations.
In a recent interview with Al Jazeera,†Bolden talked about the missions he was given by Obama, when he was tasked to head up NASA.
“Perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering,” said Bolden.
The three UAE students were identified as Shamma Al Qassim, 19, a computer engineering major at the American University of Sharjah, Hazza Bani Malek, 20, who is pursuing a major in mechatronics at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Ras Al Khaimah and Hamad Rajab, 21, an electrical engineering student.
They will spend the next 10 weeks in training, which Worden said would provide them with an opportunity to learn about space exploration and create strong friendships between great nations.
Where might liberals be if Obama was reaching out to just Jews? Or Christians?