Qatar's Sheikha Asma eyes record with Everest expedition

Sheikha Asma to become first Qatari woman to climb Everest
2 min read
07 April, 2021
Sheikha Asma Al Thani hopes to climb Mount Everest this month as part of an expedition.
Sheikha Asma Al Thani has climbed several mountains already [Getty]

A member of the Qatari royal family hopes to make history as the first Arab woman to complete the rigorous Explorers Grand Slam, which would see her summit the seven highest mountains in the world.

Sheikha Asma Al Thani hopes to climb Mount Everest this month as part of an expedition, after successfully climbing Mount Aconcagua in South America which stands at 6,959 metres above sea level, and Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, which stands at 5,895 metres.

At 8,846 metres, Mount Everest has the highest peak of any mountain in the world.

Sharing details of the journey on her website, 31-year-old Sheikha Asma said:

"In April/May this year, I will take on my biggest challenge yet, conquering Mount Everest. I am only the third Qatari to ever attempt the climb and, if successful, I would become the first Qatari woman in history to stand 8,848 [sic] metres above sea level."

"Through my journey, I aim to shatter the stereotypical image of the traditional explorer and demonstrate women’s empowerment in Qatar while inspiring a new generation of women across the region to dream bigger."

She added: "Ultimately, I want to become the first woman from the Middle East to complete the Explorers Grand Slam, and summitting Everest is just a milestone on my journey to inspire others to push past their limits, break down barriers and live their dreams."

Sheikha Asma has been breaking records for years, and in 2014 was among the first group of Qatari women to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. In 2018, she became the first Qatari to ski the North Pole and a year later she trekked to Everest Basecamp as a precursor to climbing the mountain.

As director of marketing and communications for the Qatar Olympic Committee, Sheikha Asma said her work in sports is part of the reason she is undertaking the expedition.

"In my extensive work within sport in Qatar, I have seen first-hand the powerful impact that sport 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."

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