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Book Review of "My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer"
I recently met Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian-American engineer; co-founder and chairwoman of US-based digital technology company called Prodea Systems, during the "Druv Se Pragati" event at Jamwa Ramgarh block of rural Jaipur, which was held to felicitate the outstanding field functionaries of the project called Druv Champions and Druv Mitras as well as to celebrate noteworthy achievements of Druv Project.

Ansari was introduced as the first private woman space explorer and space ambassador who has also done a book "My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer" co-authored by Homer Hickam. It is the story of a dreamer who had looked upon the stars with a profound desire to soar among them by getting into space.

I thought of writing a brief review of her memoir that describes vividly the story of her childhood in Iran and her family's journey to the United States of America after the Islamic Revolution to start life afresh in Texas from scratch, building a pioneering computer technology firm to make a fortune to become a self-funded space traveller.

Written in the biographical format, the book is an inspiration to the readers that how optimism, strife and forward looking attitude can bring fortunes and lead to the realisation of childhood dreams. In an absorbing language, the book describes how Ansari achieved her dream of spaceflight as a private tourist that costs a lot.

The book published by Palgrave Macmillan, also describes that Ansari was not a laid back holidaying tourist in a commercial spaceflight to the International Space Station, but she also performed experiments on behalf of the European Space Agency as well as published a weblog from space.

The book is spread over 260 odd pages but the narrative is very absorbing and various life events have been described vividly and look like happening in front of you and seem to empower you. Her evocative biography is a motivating narrative of a woman who has become an example for individuals struggling to overcome economic, gender and cultural barriers.

After her return from the space tour, she started the Ansari Foundation, a non-profit organisation which supports social entrepreneurship.

Indecently, at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony held recently, Anousheh Ansari accepted an Oscar for "The Salesman" - the Best Foreign Language Film –on behalf of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi who had refused to attend the ceremony in protest of US President Donald Trump's executive order barring several countries' access to the US.

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