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First Kuwaiti woman to go to Antarctica on scientific mission

(Changing dateline) By Nawab Khan

BRUSSELS, July 8 (KUNA) -- A young, enthusiastic and ambitious scientist from Kuwait will be the first Kuwaiti female to set foot on Antarctica in February on a scientific expedition.
Maryam Al-Joaan told the Kuwait news agency, KUNA, in Brussels that she will be officially representing the Kuwait Science Club , an educational NGO , in this expedition. She worked there on space education and public outreach program.
"I am interested in space and earth science in general. Antarctica can be the closest thing that we can learn about our universe by studying the extreme environment," she said.
Aljoaan is studying Earth and Space Sciences in Bremen, Germany from where she expects to graduate next year.
Currently she is doing an internship at the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy in Brussels.
The Antarctic University Expedition from 12-28 February, 2011, is organized by a Canadian NGO called Students on Ice.
About 90 university students, scientists and researchers from around the world will be on the expedition vessel M/V Ushuaia which will set sail from Argentina.
Once in Antarctic waters, all students will make frequent field trips to the Antarctic mainland . The expedition will be supplemented by lectures, seminars and lab exercises aboard the ship.
"I want to inspire young people to explore and learn about sciences. I am proud to be the first Kuwaiti and I hope other Kuwaitis can follow in my foot steps and get interested into more science researches." Al-Joaan told KUNA.
She stressed that she is going on a scientific expedition to study the environment and not for tourism.
"I want to raise awareness in Kuwait about protecting the environment, especially the ocean," she stressed.
Her slogan for the campaign is "protect earth, go blue". Asked why blue and not green , she replied that it is important to protect our ocean which is the basis of life.
"Blue is the color of the sky, the color of the ocean and sometimes it is the color of the eyes. We also use blue color to represent Kuwait outside . It represents Kuwait," added Al-Joaan.(end) nk.asa KUNA 081317 Jul 10NNNN