Saudi woman first to climb mount Everest

We have been seeing a lot of ”firsts” for Saudi women lately.

saudi woman everest

Saudi woman Raha Moharrak reached the summit of Nepal’s Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, in a first for the conservative Muslim kingdom where women’s sports are severely restricted, tourism officials said on Sunday.
She reached the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) summit early Saturday morning with a party of 12, consisting of other foreign mountaineers and Nepalese guides.

In Saudi Arabia sports for women are severely restricted. Last year after great pressure Saudi Arabia allowed for the first time for two women to participate in the Olympic games, last month the government allowed girls in girls schools (schools are segregated of course) to do some sports under certain restrictions.  The schools will have to ensure girls wear “a covering and decent outfit” for sport activities in “suitable areas”.

Raha Moharrak is 25, she is not only became the first Saudi woman to attempt the climb but also the youngest Arab to make it to the top of Everest. Raha is part of a four-person expedition that also includes the first Qatari man and the first Palestinian man attempting to reach the summit. The group is trying to raise $1m for education projects in Nepal.
Originally from Jeddah, Raha is a university graduate currently based in Dubai.
Raha’s climb team stated that as a woman from Saudi Arabia she had to break a lot of barriers to achieve her goal.
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.

“We have been able to contact her and she is very exhausted and now resting,” according to Hassan Moharrak, the climber’s father, adding that the family was very happy with her achievement.

“I really don’t care about being the first,” she is quoted as saying. “So long as it inspires someone else to be second.”


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