Suzanne becomes first Arab to reach Everest
Dubai, May 28, 2011
Suzanne Al Houby, a Palestinian residing in the UAE and a mother of two, has become the first Arab woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain.
Since the world’s highest peak was first scaled by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, roughly 100 women from across the world have achieved this astonishing feat.
Al Houby reached the 8,848-metre peak at 8.45am on May 21 marking this triumph of the human spirit for the Palestinian people and, indeed, for the people of the Arab world as a whole.
Originally from Jaffa, Palestine, 40-year-old Al Houby spent 51 days scaling Mount Everest as part of a four-person team, three of whom successfully reached the summit.
“I will never forget the moment when my dream became reality, when I saw the prayer flags flapping in the thin air, marking the summit of the greatest mountain on earth,” Al Houby recalled.
"Standing on the summit, I looked left to the mountains of Nepal, then looked right to the mountains of China – all of them far, far below. I raised my hands, thanked God and hugged my climbing partners," said an elated Al Houby.
“Becoming the first Arab woman to reach the top of the world was an enormous thrill and a great privilege,” she added.
A lifelong mountaineer, Al Houby is no stranger to the record books. In 2003, she became the first Arab woman to reach Everest Base Camp.
She is also the first Arab woman to scale Mount Elbrus, the highest point in Europe, and the first Palestinian woman to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. To date, she has successfully reached the summit of the highest mountains on five of the world’s seven continents.
“I would like to share this triumph with the Palestinian people and all Arabs – especially all the Arab women, young and old, who continue to contribute to the peace and stability of the region we all call home,” said the proud Arab.
Al Houby, who spent nearly two years preparing for the feat, was provided supported by Welfare Association, a top Palestinian NGO dedicated to contributing toward furthering the progress of Palestinian people.
In addition, she was provided ongoing support by Arabtec, a leading construction company in the UAE.-TradeArabia News Service