Otherwise known as the Mother of Atomic Science, Sameera Moussa, the under documented pioneer of nuclear science, was born in the north of Egypt in 1917 and was killed in 1952.
After her mother died of cancer, her father moved the entire family to Cairo where he was able to invest in a small hotelier business and support his daughter who he insisted attend the local primary school. Sameera excelled throughout her education but decided not to follow the conventional path of engineering and enrolled in the Faculty of Sciences at Cairo University. A prominent scientist at the time, Mustafa Musharaffa, worked at the establishment and saw great promise in his prodigious pupil. He encouraged and supported her studies, seeing that she became the first woman to obtain a PhD in atomic radiation at the University.
Deeply affected by her mother’s illness and observing that nuclear development in Egypt would be a stabilising force for the Middle East, she was spurred on to make ground breaking discoveries. It was not only her patriotism that fuelled her desire to work in the field of atomic science, but her desire to make cancer treatment cheap and accessible to all in the future. Her most celebrated discovery laid the foundation of today’s advancements as she formulated the equation used to break up the atoms of cheap metals. She also set up the organisation ‘Atoms for Peace’ to which she invited many of the most prominent scientists from all across the globe.
Moussa was awarded a scholarship in the US to advance her research using the most modern equipment and, recognised for her calibre, was invited to visit secret US atomic facilities. Despite several offers made to her to contain her knowledge in America through citizenship, she refused – keen to return to Egypt and be of a service to her people.
Her death is shrouded in conspiracy. In ’52, she was invited on a trip to an atomic facility whilst in the US. This invitation later turned out to be a fake and her driver was discovered to have been using a false identity. On the way to her supposed destination, her car plummeted from a height of 40 feet and she died almost immediately; the corpse of driver was missing as he presumably jumped from the car before impact. Unsurprisingly, many have banded this ‘accident’ a planned assassination, some pointing fingers at the Mossad.