Mountain climber Raha Moharrak has conquered six of the seven highest peaks across of the world and is gearing up to hike across the treacherous terrains of Denali in Alaska, which is to be her last summit.
Her previous attempt to summit North America’s highest peak was crushed due to harsh weather conditions, but the resilient Saudi has decided to undertake this formidable challenge once again.
Despite her family’s reservations, Raha chased her dreams and made headlines for being the youngest Arab and the first Saudi woman to summit Mount Everest.
The 30-year old hails from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and described herself as a dreamer, who was unable to conform to the conventional mould that is often associated with women in Saudi culture.
“There was a point in my life, where I was at a crossroads. I had to follow a specific path being an Arab girl and I wasn’t comfortable fitting into that mould,” she told Sport360.
“So I decided to do something different and something new. I went online and I did some research and I found different things to do. It wasn’t until someone suggested climbing that I actually took it seriously and after climbing my first mountain I fell in love with the feeling and I couldn’t stop.”
Raha’s biggest hurdle came in the form of the general mindset of the people, which also included her family.
“Overall it was very difficult to change mentalities, starting with my own family. It was very difficult to get them to understand what it meant to me to climb. They didn’t understand why I do this to myself,” she said.
“It was a very big challenge to change such a rigid and very old view of what females are meant to do.”
Moharrak currently serves as an ambassador for Shirzanan, a media and advocacy organisation to advance Muslim women’s rights through sports and media.
The initiative derives its name from a Persian word for “female heroes” and was founded by Solmaz Sharif, along with Mara Gubuan who created the only non-profit organization that focuses on female Muslim athletes.
Besides preparing for Denali, the climber is busy writing a book and is fully focused on accomplishing these two goals in the near future.