Stargazer Dr Tayyaba Zafar wants to discover new horizons and explore the world. She is the only Pakistan woman who has managed to reach Antarctica.
Hailing from Lahore, Dr Tayyaba, PhD in astronomy, made the nation proud by becoming the first Pakistani woman to be selected for an Antarctic research trip under the Homeward Bound programme.
Around 80 women were selected from 26 countries for the trip and Dr Tayyaba was the only Pakistani national among them.
The programme aims to increase the influence and impact of woman global leaders and involve specialists in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.
Dr Tayyaba while talking this correspondent over phone said that under the programme, she visited Antarctica for three weeks.
Tayyaba has visited different places affected by climate change.
She along with other women scientists covered everything from different penguin species colonies to country bases, melting glaciers, zodiac cruises and whale watching.
She said the trip to Antarctica was great experience for her.
According to her, she has loved astronomy since her childhood and taken inspiration from the stars, sky and galaxies. She shared that in Pakistan astronomy was not being taught when she was studying in Pakistan. She always has longed for galaxies and sky.
She got her early education in Lahore. She did master’s in physics from Pakistan and later lectured at Punjab University for one and a half years. “In 2007, I won a scholarship for
PhD studies at the DARK Cosmology Centre of the famed Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen,” she said.
She said women of Pakistan got success in every walk of life but, unfortunately, they could not enter the field of science. Women should come in the field of science. According to her, subjects of science and astronomy are not only for men.
Women should come forward and compete with male, she added.
Dr Tayyaba recalled that her family was not ready to send her abroad when she secured the PhD scholarship in Denmark. However, her family agreed and she was allowed to travel.
Now she is a lecturer at Macquarie University in Australia and wants to serve her country after coming back to Pakistan.
She wants to make a team and work for the welfare of the country in the field of astronomy.