My One-in-Thirteen-Million friend,


Saturday, Oct 4th. I have planned this trip to the Planetarium for a while, yet I never had time to do it. The planetarium Museum in Chicago is one of my favorite museums in the world, even before today.
My good luck this time allowed me to finally make that visit to the Planetarium and somehow I was gathered with Rex J. Walheim who happened to be there giving a lecture with a representative from NASA.
Now for those who don’t know who Rex Walheim is, well let me put it this way, he is one of the very few humans who have been in space, to be specific he is one in thirteen million!
Now let me get this straight, this guy has been in Space and back! and I, a young man from Syria who haven’t gotten on a plane until couple years ago, got to meet him.
For less than 45 seconds I got to stand and talk to him, he asked about my name. Majed, I said, and he replied asking if that was an Arabic name. When I said I was from Syria, it turned out that he has some knowledge of my country, he asked about the situation in Damascus and about my hometown and my parents, and at the end he asked about my future and wished me and my country a bright future. An astronaut asking me about my life and my future!
I am still taking it in. The confidence and the gentleness of a person who has achieved so much in his life got me thinking about mine. Will I ever be this big of a deal? Will I ever get to serve humanity as my Astronaut friend did?

Majed Abdulsamad

Armour College of Engineering, architecture major

Expected date of graduation 2016

One Comment Add yours

  1. gpdoyle says:


    I’ve read this post twice now; a very powerful story about the ways in which – on a very human level – we can change and be changed by our interactions with people. Often by chance.

    For others who would like to hear the talk from that afternoon, please click on the link below.

    Adler Planetarium | Rex Walheim | NASA | Astronaut


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