My goal is to bring the cosmos to the world. In studying astronomy, we get to consider some of the most fundamental questions that face humankind: Who are we? How did the Universe begin? What is the fate of the Universe? Are we alone? In short, we get to consider what makes us human. This perspective, defined by the beauty of our cosmos and the extraordinary phenomena scattered throughout our Universe, is one that ties us more closely to the Earth and to each other.
I fell in love with astrophysics because of the perspective that it offers us--the realization of just how small we are, and how little our day-to-day struggles matter in the context of the Universe. In short, the night sky offers a balm for the anxieties and fears I face every day.
As a carrier of the cancer-causing BRCA-2 genetic mutation, I have learned first-hand the importance of science literacy and advocating for myself. My goal is to share my experiences to encourage other people affected by health risks to advocate for themselves. All too often, those with marginalized backgrounds are glossed over or not taken seriously, especially in healthcare settings. It is my goal to change this.
As an Arab woman in the sciences, I also hope to change the narrative of who can be a scientist and what a scientist looks like. Too often, the standard trope of an Old Cishet White Man fills this vision. Coupled with systemic racism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism, the stereotype simultaneously dissuades and bars young women and women of color (women like me!) from continuing in a space that is not made for us. My goal is to redefine this stereotype, recreating this vision into one that is inclusive by supporting and prioritizing those with marginalized backgrounds.
Finally, I aim to increase science literacy around the world. It is our duty as scientists to share with the world what we have learned. In the Era of Anti-Science (anti-vax campaigns, climate change deniers, anti-maskers, etc...) it is paramount for scientists to find effective ways of communicating with the public in ways that overcome the communication divides. All too often, scientists retain an air of "better than", isolated in the Ivory Tower of academia. I hope to challenge this status quo.