European, Arab women join hands to cross Arctic

A women’s expedition to the North Pole will face extreme weather as it undertakes two scientific studies.
Updated 12 April 2018
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European, Arab women join hands to cross Arctic

  • Europe contingent comes from France, Sweden, Cyprus and Russia; Mideast team from Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE
  • Mariam Hamidaddin joined team to become the first Saudi woman to cross the North Pole

JEDDAH: Twelve women from Europe and the Middle East are on a mission to cross the North Pole.

The joint expedition will set out this month for the Arctic Ocean, an ecosystem that plays an important role in shaping global climate through processes such as oceanic and atmospheric circulation.

The expedition, led by Felicity Aston from the UK, brings together women from countries including France, Sweden, Cyprus and Russia while women from Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will form the Middle East contingent. The women will face extreme climate conditions during their expedition, which will contribute to two scientific studies. The studies will help to make interstellar space flight and exploration possible in the future.

The 32-year-old explorer Mariam Hamidaddin joined the team to become the first Saudi woman to cross the North Pole. “I want to explore my own perceived limit and hope to share my story with others, to encourage them to seek out their own calling,” she told Arab News.

She said that she had received strong support from friends and family — as well encouraging messages on social media. Hamidaddin said the main obstacle was her own mind: “When skiing for 10-12 hours a day in such extreme conditions with little or no communication with others you are isolated with only your thoughts. You really need to make sure that your thoughts and positive and motivating every step of the way.”

This is her first time on an expedition — but many of her experiences have been “first times.”

“It proves that with commitment, determination and definitely the right guidance you can take on such challenges,” she said.

“Don't let fear be your guide but rather curiosity, passion and love. Work on your mental strength and the words you repeat to yourself, make sure they lift you up and push you forward.”


KSRelief 45-vehicle aid convoy heads to Hodeidah

KSRelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah speaks to media in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 39 min 19 sec ago
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KSRelief 45-vehicle aid convoy heads to Hodeidah

  • Al-Rabeeah said KSRelief had carried out a total of 262 aid projects in all governorates of Yemen
  • Al-Rabeeah called on international humanitarian organizations to provide relief assistance to the people of Yemen.

RIYADH: A 45-vehicle aid convoy carrying 924 tons of foodstuffs, medical and housing supplies left Saudi Arabia for the Yemeni province of Hodeidah on Wednesday.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, KSRelief general supervisor, said that 18 of the trucks were sent from Sharurah, 15 from Jazan and 12 from Riyadh.

The convoy included 595 tons of food baskets, 186 tons of dates, 95 tons of medicines, and 48 ​​tons of shelter materials, tents, rugs and blankets for the residents of the province of Hodeidah.

Al-Rabeeah said KSRelief had carried out a total of 262 aid projects in all governorates of Yemen.

He called on international humanitarian organizations to provide relief assistance to the people of Yemen.

The Arab coalition has secured all Yemeni crossings for humanitarian aid to alleviate Yemeni people’s suffering caused by violations committed by the Iran-backed Houthi militias, who have been looting humanitarian aid to Yemen, Al-Rabeeah said.

 “We have been always by the side of Yemeni civilians. Our prime goal is to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Yemen in general and Hodeidah in particular. We will use all transportation means, land, air or seaports, to help our brothers and sisters in Hodeidah,” he added. 

“We are welcoming coordination with the international humanitarian organizations to have a joint effort that will definitely pour into the civilians in Hodeidah to reduce the humanitarian crisis there as the coalition has expressed its full readiness to protect the aid and facilitate the means to reach different destinations,” Al-Rabeeah said.

Abdulsalam Babood, senior official to the Yemeni government and a member of Yemeni Relief Committee, said: “On behalf of my country and the Yemeni people, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to King Salman and the crown prince for their unmatched generosity and unwavering support to the Yemeni civilians in terms of medical supplies and food and other needed items for survival.

“Hodeidah has been suffering from the humanitarian crisis over the past three years due to the full control imposed by the Houthi militants on them. Starvation and the big shortage in medical supplies and medications and huge environmental issues are the main struggles of the people there. International reports estimate that 61 percent of people in Hodeidah are in urgent need of essential supplies. We then put a plan to cope with this humanitarian crisis.”