Women Power from Middle East Update : Qatari climber Sheikha Asma Al Thani set to make historic Everest ascent

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Sheikha Asma Al Thani is aiming to inspire women and young people across the Middle East

Sheikha Asma Al Thani aims to become the first Qatari woman to climb Mount Everest in April/May this year as part of her drive to inspire women and young people in the region to challenge stereotypes and fulfil their dreams.

31-year-old Sheikha Asma is attempting to summit Everest in an attempt to become the first woman from the Middle East to complete the Explorers Grand Slam — a challenge to reach both North Pole, South Pole, and climb all the Seven Summits (Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Vinson, Puncak Jaya, and Mount Elbrus).

Sheikha Asma has already completed three of the nine Explorers Grand Slam challenges, as she became the first Qatari to ski the last degree to the North Pole in 2018 and to summit Aconcagua in 2019. She was among the first group of Qatari women to summit Kilimanjaro in 2014.

She will become the first Qatari woman in history to stand at 8,849 metres above sea level, if she overcomes the toughest challenge yet on her journey, summiting Mt Everest. She is the third Qatari national to ever attempt the climb.

“I have dreamed of climbing mountains ever since I was young; a dream which has always been ignited by my love of sports and its ability to inspire,” Sheikha Asma said. “In my extensive work within the field of sports in Qatar, I have seen first-hand the powerful impact that sports and its incredible athletes can have on the lives of so many. If they fall, they always get up and try harder. And if they lose, they always rise stronger. Ultimately, they inspire us all to be better versions of ourselves.

“”I climb mountains because it challenges my limits. And it is my hope that by taking on the world’s highest mountains, I can challenge the stereotypical image of the traditional explorer and empower women and youth in the region to challenge themselves and dream bigger,” she added.

“This has been a journey of firsts, but this is not my focus. My ultimate dream is to be the first of many Qatari women to achieve such feats. Together we can all work to inspire the next generation of women to achieve their dreams,” said Sheikha Asma.

Sheikha Asma will travel to Nepal on April 1 to begin her trek to Everest basecamp for acclimatisation, before attempting to summit Everest in mid-May, if conditions allow.

Sheikha Asma is a major advocate of female empowerment in the Middle East and has significant influence within the Qatari, regional, and international sports, and is a senior female official in the Qatar Olympic Committee.

Agency

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