Forty-three year old mother of two Suzanne Al-Houby scaled Mount Everest in May, one of a small group of 100 women to achieve this distinction and the first Palestinian and Arab woman to perform this feat.
According to Al-Houby, “Becoming the first Arab woman to reach the top of the world was an enormous thrill and a great privilege. I would like to share this triumph with the Palestinian people and all Arabs – especially all the Arab women, young and old, who continue to contribute to the peace and stability of the region we all call home.”
In addition to Mount Everest, Al-Houby successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. She’s scaled five summits on as many continents. Originally from Jaffa, Al-Houby lives in the United Arab Emirates. She is supported by Arabtec, a construction firm in the UAE and by the Welfare Association, “a leading Palestinian non-governmental development organization dedicated to contributing toward furthering the progress of the Palestinian people by preserving their heritage and identity, supporting their living culture, and building civil society institutions.”
A graduate of the University of Iowa, Al-Houby is CEO of Rahhahla Explorers, “the first professional adventure outfitter” in the Gulf and previously served as vice-president at Dubai Bone and Joint Center.
In a 2005 interview with WAFA, Al-Houby once reflected about her passion for climbing, “When I climb, I send a message to the world that we Palestinians have the will to live in peace, we look for a beautiful life . . .”