‘Saudi Sir Edmund Hillary’ calls Al-Houby role model for youth


RIYADH: Farouk Saad Hamad Al-Zuman, the first Saudi who conquered Mount Everest in 2008, has congratulated Palestinian climber Suzanne Al-Houby for becoming the first Arab woman to scale the world’s highest mountain and for sending a message of peace to Israelis and Palestinians from the “Rooftop of the World.”

In his congratulatory note Sunday, Al-Zuman said: “I was elated, in fact overjoyed, on learning about the successful expedition of Al-Houby. You have dared to face the harsh freezing temperature and the hurricane-force winds to reach the top. You have become a role model for the youth of the Arab and Gulf countries.”

A Palestinian by origin, who lives in the UAE, Al-Houby, 40, is a graduate of Oregon State University, who joked that such a feat is even more difficult for Gulf Arabs, used to hot temperatures outside and comfortable air-conditioned interiors.

Al Houby, a mother of two, originally from Jaffa, started climbing for the cause of peace.

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