Ashes to “Sona” is a journey of transformation. “Sona” means “Gold” in Urdu, the Pakistani National language. Life can be a roller coaster ride for all of us, like a sinusoidal curve going positive and negative periodically. Born human, we live in a dynamic environment, constantly going through ebbs and flows of circumstances that shape us and mould us into a unique individual being. It’s all about learning how to ride the waves like a surfer and go through personal alchemy as we transform ourselves to live a fulfilling life. That transformation is ongoing for continuous human evolution.

I was born during a war between Pakistan and Bangladesh.  A war we ultimately lost. Even during the frequent blackouts that occurred during this time, my mom noticed I had a smile on my face. As a starry-eyed girl, I gazed at the stars from our balcony in the very busy city of Karachi, Pakistan.  Every night I looked up and wondered about life. I asked myself a question to, “Is there a life beyond the sky and the stars?” Now, I wonder if I should have joined the astronaut’s core and walked on the moon. But I am already on a different planet when you compare life in Karachi, Pakistan to Huntsville, Alabama or any other city in the United States. There are some exceptions, but you know what I mean 😊

At that moment, if an angel would have come down and shown me a video recording of my future, I would have said, “this can’t be me!” I was raised as an Orthodox Muslim Girl and told every second, “you are a woman and you can’t do anything.  Back then, I never imagined that one day I would become an aerospace engineer.  An aerospace engineer who would contribute to programs like The International Space Station that enables mankind to explore space and support programs like Ground Mid-Course Defense, defending us from ballistic missile threats.

As we transform, we evolve continuously and the daunting task can become habitual, automatic, and effortless. The process is like a rocket leaving earth: At first, it requires enormous power, then less and less as it leaves the earth’s gravitational field; and finally, it moves through space under its own momentum.

Dream BIG and make your dream a reality every day!


1 thought on “Home

  1. Congratulations Shehnaz. You are one of the few people I know who has had an unusual learning path and many awesome experiences to guide you to this day. Hugs and lot’s of love going your way.

    Liked by 1 person

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