Two years ago, she made history as the first Saudi woman and third-ever female to dive at the North Pole – however, Dr Mariam Fardous is not coming up for air any time soon. In fact, the physician and epidemiologist is preparing to dive at the South Pole next year, a mission that will make her the first female to dive both poles.
Fardous, a graduate of King Abdul Aziz University, will take to the Antarctic Ocean next February, and is currently training for the epic dive. The doctor has previously revealed she was inspired to explore the North Pole after a conversation with a friend. “I just knew that it was an ocean but I did not know many details,” she told Sayidaty in 2017. “Then I researched it and concluded that it deserves to be explored. Fewer than 1% of the population worldwide — if I’m talking about ever since humanity was created, up until now — fewer than 1% were able to reach this place. About 30 people were able to dive in this place.”
Fardous first started diving around 10 years ago, gaining her master scuba diver certification in Jeddah, and has since ventured to Russia to further train in specialized techniques – like diving in ice. Her 40-day expedition to the North Pole in 2016 saw the physician tackle water temperatures of -6 degrees Celsius, yet she remained focused and calm. “When I’m diving, I am in a happy space, and I instantly feel rejuvenated. The sea is a beautiful place to take a break,” she told Gulf News this year. “I went through a range of emotions. As I went deeper I felt light like a feather.”
The adventurer, who is also an ambassador for the non-profit organization African Impacts, cites her mother as an inspiration, adding to the publication, “she has always guided me to think out of the box, taught me to believe in myself and follow my dreams.” Here’s wishing Fardous the best of luck with her training – we’ll be watching her journey eagerly come February.