Standing tall 8,849 meters above sea level, Sheikha Asma Al Thani recently became the first Qatari woman to summit Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world. Now, the mountaineer has been honored with the GCC Excellence Decoration by HE Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser Al Ali, Minister of Sports and Youth, in recognition of her positive contributions to youth work. The mountaineer set an example for young minds by showing how to make the impossible possible and challenging outdated stereotypes associated with women and other gender-related barriers.
The journey undertaken by Al Thani and her team lasted for a month and 10 days in total, with a distance of 210 kilometers traveled to finally reach the world’s highest peak. At the beginning of her journey, Adidas gifted Sheikha Asma and her team the official match ball for the FIFA World Cup Qatar. Named ‘Al Rihla’ which means ‘the journey’, the present accompanied her throughout while summiting Everest. Al Rihla will be the World Cup’s first Arabic match ball that has been inspired by the culture, architecture, iconic boats, and the flag of Qatar. It is also the 14th successive ball Adidas has created for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Sheikha Asma has made the country proud by reaching the peak with Al Rihla, especially as Qatar is all set to host the FIFA World Cup this year. She hoisted the journey of the official match ball, and how it represents Qatar’s journey to becoming the first Arabic nation to host the world’s biggest football event. The nation of Qatar has the opportunity to celebrate and pride itself of their prolific athletes with Adidas continuing its pledge to foster and cultivate local talent in the country and region across the sports realm.
As for Al Thani, her journey doesn’t end with summiting the Everest. She aims to continue inspiring and motivating women by challenging the traditional explorer narrative as she looks to complete the Explorer’s Grand Slam.
A few other women from the Arab region who recently achieved the milestone of summiting the mountain peak are Nayla Al Baloushi from UAE, Nelly Attar from Lebanon, Mona Shahab from Saudi Arabia and Suzanne Al Houby from Palestine being the first to pave the path for these inspiring women among many others.