Back 2 Everest

Based on a comment left by Zed Al-Refai in my post on Mostafa Salameh’s Everest Climb, I felt compelled to do a post on the former because (a) to correct any misinformation and (b) as an Arab and Muslim, I’m proud of all historical accomplishments despite our borders, and Zed has definitely left his mark in the history books.

First, to clear up, Mostafa Salameh (upon a successful climb) will be the first Jordanian (not Arab) to have climbed Mt. Everest. To his credit however I don’t believe he ever made the claim to be the first Arab; that bit of information was based on a piece Lebanon’s Daily Star featured in January 2004, a few months after Zed’s successful climb in May 2003.

Mostafa has said: “I have a dream! That is to be the first Jordanian to reach the summit of Mount Everest.” He also said: “The idea first crossed my mind during a visit to India in 2001. But when I found out that no Arab has done it before, I decided that I’m definitely doing it,.” Zed had not yet climbed it at that point.

On to more important stuff…

A little about Zed:

He was once asked if he was only after records, he replied “well I couldn’t stop any one from climbing if they wanted to. Moreover, I don’t issue permits to Everest”. Failure came (in the form of acute mountain sickness) with his first attempt on Everest, it was sponsored by the Kuwaiti telecom giant MTC, Zeddy commented “It hit me so hard, I was very disappointed, never got the chance to pass the awareness about our POWs & MIAs during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. It was a close shave, near death experience, it made me think hard about climbing, but I wouldn’t give in easily.”It seems it was a case of second time lucky . As he says,

“my dream was accomplished, I never planned to be the FIRST ARAB to summit Everest, but I guess I was destined to be, I was hungry for it, I exceeded my own limit, surpassed my own expectations and stretched my body beyond belief. Great deeds come at a great cost.”

Zed has a very nice website set up at [very creative name]. It includes profiles, journals and pictures of the mountains he’s climbed including Everest. As well as articles and features from a number of publications.

Thanks Zed for the info, I don’t know why I never heard of you or the climb but sorry for any confusion on my part. Congratulations on the successful climb, you have definitely made us all very proud. Leave us a note to tell us what your next endeavor shall be.

Posted In: Arab World


  • hi my name is mostafa salameh….. i am planning to finish up the seven summits by may 2007… thats mean i will be climbing Everest on march 2007….
    i will be the first Arab Ever to climb Everest for the south side… the classical sde..
    Zed al-Rifaai comments about being the first Arab to climb everest yes but from the north side…

    i am planing to be the first arab and jORDANIAN TO STAND ON THE TOP OF THE WORLD next year …
    theres no Arab for sure this year on the southside … theres 4 that climbibg from the north side..


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