Creating History: ‘Surviving Hijab’ Reaches Everest Basecamp

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    14 Hijab-wearing women set out on a journey to Mount Everest and have now carved a niche for themselves in UAE’s history. Here’s their story.

    What’s It?

    It looks like UAE women are on a roll. Last week Saudi Arabia’s basketball team won gold at the Abu Dhabi Special Olympics and now, we have yet another group of women creating history.

    A group of 14 hijab-wearing women headed on a mission to the Mount Everest. Calling themselves ‘Surviving Hijab’, the popular Facebook community that fights negative stereotypes. The group, led by Manal Rostom has now safely reached the Everest base camp. How awesome is that!

    Credits: survivinghijab Instagram

    Credits: survivinghijab Instagram

    Manal kicked off the climb on 17 March, along with her group and the crew touched base on 25 March. The team started off from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu and headed towards Lukla.

    It was the first mountain climb for most women in the team who unitedly stood up for one common goal- to fight against stereotypes about hijab and prove that women were no less than men.

    Women from over 11 countries including -Palestine, Syria, Canada, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, UK, UAE, Lebanon, Egypt and Australia were part of the challenging journey. Within three days, the super women made it to Namche Bazaar, seated at a height of 3450 metres. On day six, the Hijab group reached Lobuche Village completing at an altitude of 4925 metres.

    Credits: survivinghijab Instagram

    Credits: survivinghijab Instagram

    Finally on the ninth day, one could hear tired yet excited voices of the Hijab women at the Everest base camp.

    Credits: survivinghijab Instagram

    Credits: survivinghijab Instagram

    Manal chose to wear the hijab at the age of 21 and even encountered several unpleasant cirumstances for her decision. It was then that she created a platform where women in the Middle East could share their fears, stories, and doubts about wearing the hijab.

    Vaishnavi Venkataraman
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