Q&A with Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi woman to climb Mount Everest while she is at the NYC Women in the World Summit 2017.
First published in The New Arab on 6 April 2017:
Raha Moharrak, the renowned mountain climber who was the first Saudi woman to climb Mount Everest, often tells an endearing story of how her first major climb – Mount Kilimanjaro – began.
She had to ask her father, and her father gave an unequivocol “no”. Devastated, yet relentless, Moharrak pursued the issue, penning her father a long email, agonisingly waiting for a response.
After several days, three short heart-warming phrases were sent back:
“You’re crazy. I love you. Go for it.”
The words changed her life. And Moharrak has used her achievements ever since to act as an ambassador for her countrywomen.
Advocating access to sport for girls in school, and sport for health in Saudi Arabia, Moharrak is one of a line-up of outstanding female role models attending the eighth annual Women in the World Summit in New York City between 5-7 April.
With Hillary Clinton conducting her first post-election interview here, the summit is also presenting “powerful new female role models whose personal stories illuminate the most pressing international issues”.
Before the summit kicked off, The New Arab met with Moharrak to talk about her life and work.