“I was born during the Civil War here in Lebanon. I remember spending most of my early childhood underground in shelters, hiding from the bombs. Being outdoors was always considered a dangerous thing. When I was 21, a friend invited me to hike in the mountains. It is hard to explain but coming from war, the feeling of being in the mountains gives me such a sense of freedom. When the 2006 war started, I was 22. I could not handle the stress so I left Beirut and I went to the only place where I felt safe: the mountains. As the years went by I started to climb more and higher mountains. Physically I am not the strongest or the fastest mountaineer but it has always been my passion that has given me strength. In a few days I’ll be flying to Antarctica to climb Mount Vinson. People have told me that I should get married and have children instead. I had to break a lot of walls to get where I am today. I have climbed 26 mountains and I am the first person in my whole family to get their PHD. I want to show that it is possible, as a Lebanese woman to climb each of the seven summits. Some have called it rebellious, I call it following my heart.”
(Beirut, Lebanon)

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