Desert Stargazing In the early 2000s, Khadija Hasan Ahmad’s love for astronomy took flight during monthly desert stargazing trips with her father and brothers.
From Family Excursions to Leadership: Khadija’s Role in DAG
Now, at 25, Khadija is the Operations Manager for the Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG), a non-profit organization founded by her father, Hasan Ahmad Al Hariri.
Growing Up Under the Stars: DAG’s Early Years: Desert Stargazing
DAG, established in 2000, began with Al Hariri and friends who shared a passion for astronomy. Khadija and her siblings became increasingly involved as the group gained momentum.
500 Strong: Khadija’s Childhood Memory of the Geminid Meteor Shower
At the age of 10, Khadija experienced a pivotal event when over 500 people gathered in Al Zubair to witness the Geminid meteor shower.
Expanding Responsibilities: Khadija’s Leadership in DAG: Desert Stargazing
Khadija’s role evolved as she took charge of a team of young volunteers, overseeing tasks from event debriefs to ensuring everyone’s safe journey home.
Choosing Passion Over Academia: Khadija’s Full-time Commitment to DAG
Opting out of college after high school, Khadija dedicated herself to DAG, finding fulfillment in engaging with people, conducting public lectures, and organizing events.
A Day in the Life: Khadija’s Astronomical Education Mission
Khadija’s typical day involves educating children at the Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre and organizing public stargazing events.
Starry Recommendations: Khadija’s Top Spots for Stargazing in the UAE
Jebel Jais and Al Quaa top Khadija’s list for breathtaking stargazing views, with Al Qudra as an accessible alternative.
Beyond Borders: Khadija Represents DAG Internationally: Desert Stargazing
Khadija’s involvement extends globally as she represents DAG, meeting with NOAA and NASA representatives and delivering lectures during a solar eclipse event in the United States.
Invitation to the Cosmos: NASA Welcomes DAG for the Next Solar Eclipse
NASA has invited DAG to participate in the next solar eclipse in April, marking an event not to be repeated until 2044.
Empowering Women in Astronomy: Khadija’s Observations
Khadija notes a promising rise in women’s participation in astronomy in the UAE, citing opportunities like Nora Al Matrooshi’s journey as the next astronaut.
Looking Ahead: Khadija’s Vision for DAG and Space Exploration
Khadija envisions a future where DAG donates solar eclipse glasses across the United States and encourages everyone to find their passion and roots in space and astronomy.