NEW DELHI: A Saudi Arabian woman has created history by climbing Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world. She was among 63 other climbers who made it to the summit successfully on Saturday, AP reported quoting Nepalese mountaineering officials.
Tilak Pandey of Nepal’s mountaineering department said that 35 foreigners accompanied by 29 Nepalese Sherpa guides reached the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) peak on Saturday morning after climbing all night from the highest camp on South Col.
Raha Moharrak, 25, is not only the first Saudi woman, but also the youngest Arab to make it to the summit.
According to the BBC website, Moharrak, who is originally from Jeddah, is a university graduate and currently based in Dubai. She is part of an expedition team of four mountaineers that includes a Qatari and a Palestinian man. They are trying to raise $1 million for education projects in Nepal.
Quoting the expedition website, BBC reported that convincing Moharrak’s family to agree to her climb “was as great a challenge as the mountain itself”, though they fully support her now.
Originally from Jeddah, Raha is a university graduate currently based in Dubai.
Coming from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia – a conservative Muslim country where women’s rights are very restricted – she had to break a lot of barriers to achieve her goal, her climb team said.
A biography on the expedition website said convincing Raha’s family to agree to her climb “was as great a challenge as the mountain itself”, though they fully support her now.
“I really don’t care about being the first,” she is quoted as saying, “so long as it inspires someone else to be second.”
Saudi Arabia is a highly conservative Islamic nation, where women’s rights are severely restricted. Though Saudi women are allowed to work, they cannot be seen as neglecting their primary duties of taking care of the household. A woman cannot drive a car or be in a public place without full-body covering.