“Climbing was never a decision, it was a calling.” That was a declaration Raha Moharrak made in conversation with Vogue Arabia way back in Fall 2016. News now breaks that the Saudi record-making climber has joined ranks with the likes of Bella Hadid, Tom Brady, and Cristiano Ronaldo as a ‘friend of the brand’ at Tag Heuer; making Moharrak the first Arab brand ambassador for luxury label. This is not her first record-breaking moment. Rewind back to May 2013 when Moharrak made history as the first Saudi woman to conquer Mount Everest and the youngest Arab to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain. The sportswoman is now laser-focused on helping Saudi women achieve healthy lifestyles and inspiring them to reach for next-level ambitions.
To celebrate her new title as brand ambassador for Tag Heuer, we look back at Vogue Arabia’s winter 2016 interview with the inspirational icon.
Born in Jeddah, the Dubai-based art director— who started climbing only five years ago— has conquered eight summits including Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. When she’s not striding her way up 8,848 meters with an enviable head of chocolate-colored locks, the trailblazing athlete can be found starring in campaigns for renowned international brands such as Burberry and Nike. As for her hobbies, the jet-setting adventurer opts for more relaxing activities. “In my downtime, I like to read and go to the beach,” she says. That is, when she isn’t temple-hopping in Cambodia or trekking through the muddy Amazonian jungles.
So what’s next for somebody who’s physically and metaphysically been on top of the world? Asides from overtaking the Seven Summits (she’s down to her last one,) the 29-year old’s checklist ranges from very ambitious (going to space) to relatively simple (to live happily.) “The craziest goal I have ever set for myself is writing a book,” she says. “Being extremely dyslexic, I can tell you this will probably be the most challenging yet rewarding adventure of all.”
Titled “For All Us Dreamers,” the novel is “the story of a Saudi woman who endeavored to touch the sky,” she says. In writing the book, Moharrak’s only hope is that she will be able to inspire the next generation of Arab women to go after their dreams. Indeed, climbing a mountain is a challenge in itself, but hailing from a strict, conservative country meant that Moharrak was breaking barriers and rebelling against society. “I want to show the world a side of Arab women that they probably wouldn’t otherwise see,” she began, “It’s also a way of hopefully changing mentalities—whether it’s a female’s personal belief in herself or her father’s acceptance of her dreams.”
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