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My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 2, 2010
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In this breezy memoir, Ansari documents how she became the first Muslim woman to travel into space. From a difficult childhood in Tehran, through immigration and personal and professional success in the U.S., she provides an inside look at her life and lifelong dream to enter space. Hitting it big in the telecommunications business provided the finances, and involvement in the X Prize brought the connections, enabling her to enter the Russian space program in 2006. Her descriptions of cosmonaut training are particularly interesting, although even here she takes care to avoid comment on serious controversies. Readers expecting a visceral punch from coauthor Hickam (Rocket Boys, 1998) will be disappointed; his voice is largely absent. Just following how Ansari accomplished her dream will be interesting enough to space fans, but although her story is emotional, her writing does not rise to the level of her subject. Ansari delivers a straightforward account of a widely watched event; for more, we await a worthy historian. --Colleen Mondor
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Top Customer Reviews
In the late ‘70s, I watched an influx of Iranian students sprinkle the San Diego State campus. Meanwhile, Anousheh was but a young child listening to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard bang and bust things up outside her street. While I was safely watching some campus Iranians throw down a portable carpet to pray, Anoushed was listening to broken glass, smelling smoke, and being chased in the night as she fled to safety. While I, in the comfort of a suburb, watched on TV fist-pumping mobs chanting down with Carter and the Shah, Anousheh quietly was picking up three languages and fanning her inner flame to become something in spite of national upheaval, strikes and demonstrations, more fists in the air, and a regime change, the theme of which was “under my thumb.”
She got to America around the time I began teaching high school. Her description of student behavior in the American classroom was on the money. Imagine, she got here as a junior in high school, not speaking any English, and didn’t know what ESL meant on her schedule of classes. Yet, I can tell you this, she was the kind of student I would have sat next to in a Chemistry class, hoping that some of her brains would rub off so I could get an “A” on labs from being in her group. That would have made her a sister, not a foreigner. But for argument sake, every now and then we need a foreigner to come to America and show us how it’s done.
As a student, Anousheh was the epitome of what educators emphasized in the ’80s, namely, more females excelling in math, science, technology, and higher education in general. When she took notes, other students looked at her as though she were breaking the unspoken code of group apathy. Nevertheless, she graduated from high school with honors, graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, got a master’s degree from George Washington University in D.C., and became a U.S. citizen. Her desire for spaceflight was always in the mix. She was an Iranian-American success story prior to lift off. I bought her book because she was the first female Muslim space explorer, not because she made friends in school and had a FB page.
What she co-founded in Texas I’ll save for you to read. It’s nothing short of amazing. Plus, I was treated to a love story along the way in her novel. If she were on tour, I’d drop everything to buy a ticket, and I’d want to shake hands with her husband, Hamid Ansari, as well.
For someone who was forced to wear the hijab after the fall of the Shah, Anousheh lived first hand under Khomeini’s rule. I became a fan of her plight as I read her novel and am a fan of her cosmic view since finishing her story, the last chapter of which hasn’t been written, I’m sure.
My hat was off for the education Anousheh got at Jeanne D’Arc, a French Catholic school known for its academic excellence. Too bad the next regime had it shut down. During this current time of tension with Iran, I was refreshed by Anousheh’s tale of love, determination, and both flags on her space suit. Nationality became inconsequential. That is why I would choose her to be on my team. She can live arm-in-arm in closed quarters, get her work done, embrace her extended family, and enthusiastically contemplate the next project with a twinkle in her eye that foreshadows flaming success.
Anousheh Ansari, you’re in charge, not Captain Kirk. Use Farsi, French, English, or Russian to beam yourself up, or use your entrepreneurial skills for yet another profitable company or humanitarian mission. I encourage readers to see the smarts in her smile and delight in her tale of becoming a cosmonaut.
I loved her book, so much so that I wouldn’t mind visiting her birthplace, Mashhad, simply to see where it all began for a young girl who ordained herself to kiss the stars.
My Dream of Stars is about an Iranian women Anousheh Ansari and her family that fled the totalitarian Iran to eventually become a US citizen. Luckily as a young girl, most of her family was able to escape the hellhole Iran. There would of been no life for her and her little sister and no chance of advancement, education and the good life. She loved Iran and its people but the leaders offered women no real life just basic servitude.
The 234 page book reads well with no boring parts. Great B/W pictures too. I read this page burner in less than two days.
In USA she completes college and gets an engineering degree as she was excellent in math and science. Later she gets a job at MCI, meets her future husband and gets a masters degree. She is interested in Astronomy and in love with space and the stars. Together her husband , her and another relative form a company, hire people, somehow get through with credit cards and after much work and several attempts the company later becomes profitable. She is the CEO. The company is eventually bought out and she and her husband are multi millionaires. She helps partial sponsor a company to win the space X prise for a civilian spaceship to reach at least 60 miles twice. The ten million dollar prise is won. She wanted to go up in the rocket plane's spare seat but was not allowed.
Later Anousheh is accepted for space training at Star City in Russia. She does great in her training and is allowed to go up as a mission specialist "space entrepreneur" on The Russian Soyuz to the ISS. She is able to work in the ISS for a while, helps where she can, does a space blog and sends out space info for millions to read. Many worldwide are very proud of her but a few are envious or believe the money she spent getting into space could of been spent on the poor.
INMO a really amazing women, who through much work, dedication and believing in herself and with the help of family and friends accomplished the almost impossible for a women from Iran. Just shows almost anything is possible if you believe in yourself, work hard, get a great education, apply yourself, have support and help of your family and friends and keep trying to fulfill your dreams. In Anousheh Ansari case to reach space and the stars. Truly an amazing women and a great inspirational book. Anousheh Ansari telling her story through Homer Hickam's writing is a great book. 5 stars