NAT 200422 Umm Ghafa1-1587548901623
UAE astronaut shares satellite image of his village Umm Ghaffa near Al Ain to inspire residents Image Credit: MBRSC

Dubai: While the world is reeling from the global pandemic, Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi shared an inspiring and nostalgic photo on social media on Wednesday of his village near Al Ain in the UAE that was taken by Hazzaa AlMansoori aboard the International Space Station back in September last year.

“Everything started from Umm Ghaffa, my village,” said Al Neyadi in his photo caption. “It was where I first observed the skies and stars, created memories that will forever be imprinted in my mind. It was also the place where the late Sheikh Zayed, envisioned the transformation of the UAE into an oasis of life,” the Emirati astronaut added.

The sentiments shared by Al Neyadi and his reference to the late Sheikh Zayed were well-received by netizens who are staying at home due to quarantine measures.

Stay at home, use time wisely

Earlier, Al Neyadi shared with a local Arabic daily his own experience of being quarantined. He said: “We spent two weeks in Baikonur (Cosmodrome spaceport in Kazakhstan) before the mission, we had to stay in one place for two weeks doing the regular routine from exercising and doing all the preparation for the flight and it was only in one place. You could not go outside,”

Based on his own experience, Al Neyadi said people should use their extra time at home wisely and not be discouraged by the pandemic.

“I encourage them to do all the postponed stuff that they wanted to do for a long time like reading a book or maybe following the diet or finishing a project that they wanted to do,” he said in the interview.

Al Neyadi also stressed the importance of staying in touch with friends and family too. He shared: “Personally, I make sure to call a friend every day, a different friend every day.

He also encouraged people to stay physically healthy by exercising regularly and eating well.

“Under lockdown, it is also important to focus on personal mental health and stay positive,” Al Neyadi added.