saudi sir edmund hillary calls Al houby role model for youth

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.
It took Al-Houby 51 days to complete the climb, which she finished on the morning of May 21. She spent two years preparing for her attempt.
Narrating his experience, Al-Zuman said that climbing Mount Everest is indeed a feat — in addition to the dangerously freezing temperatures and treacherous inclines, climbers must use and carry oxygen. The fatality rate of climbers is about 10 percent, and the conditions are so treacherous that in most cases bodies cannot be retrieved.
In 2007, British climber Ian Woodall returned to Mt. Everest to lay to rest the body of American climber Francys Arsentiev, who died near the peak of the mountain in 1998 and whose frozen body lay in plain sight of other climbers for nine years. After finding the body and performing last rites, Woodall and other climbers did the only thing they could do at that altitude — dropped the body to a lower face of the mountain where at least it could lay in rest out of sight of climbers. It is estimated that at least 189 people have died trying to climb the mountain since the time when they started to keep records, and at least 41 bodies — preserved by the climate — have been counted by climbers on the mountain’s north face. In 1996, eight people perished in one expedition during a powerful storm and two of the bodies were never found.
Al-Zuman, who, despite suffering from frostbite during his expedition in 2008, planted the green Saudi flag on the top of Mount Everest. Al-Zuman, who made history, is now fondly nicknamed the “Sir Edmund Hillary of Saudi Arabia.”

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