Suzanne Al Houby, a Palestinian woman living in the UAE, has become the first Arab woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, she said in a statement Saturday.
Al Houby spent 51 days scaling the mountain as part of a four-person team before reaching the 8,848m peak yesterday. She is one of around just 100 women to have conquered the world’s tallest mountain.
“Becoming the first Arab woman to reach the top of the world was an enormous thrill and a great privilege,” said Al Houby. “I would like to share this triumph with the Palestinian people and all Arabs – especially all the Arab women, young and old, who continue to contribute to the peace and stability of the region we all call home.”
The mother of two is no stranger to the record books. To date, Al Houby has scaled the highest mountains on five of the world’s seven continents. She became the first Arab woman to reach Everest base camp, some 6,065m up, in 2003. She was also the first Arab woman to scale Mount Elbrus, the highest point in Europe, and the first Palestinian woman to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak.
Al Houby spent nearly two years preparing for her expedition.
New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and the Napali-Indian sherap mountaineer Tenzing Norgay were the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. Both have since been named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.