Palestinian refugee-amputee climbs Mount Everest to save UNRWA school

1 / 5
Palestinian refugee Jarah Al-Hawamdeh at the Mount Everest base camp this week. (Courtesy Jarah Al-Hawamdeh)
2 / 5
Palestinian refugee Jarah Al-Hawamdeh at the Mount Everest base camp this week. (Courtesy Jarah Al-Hawamdeh)
3 / 5
Palestinian amputee and climber Jarah Al-Hawamdeh takes a rest after 10 hours of climbing towards the Mount Everest base camp. (Courtesy Jarah Al-Hawamdeh)
4 / 5
Palestinian refugee Jarah Al-Hawamdeh is climbing the Mount Everest base camp to raise funds for his UNRWA-run school. (Courtesy Jarah Al-Hawamdeh)
5 / 5
Palestinian amputee Jarah Al-Hawamdeh takes the first of the estimated 17,500 steps to the Mount Everest base camp. (Courtesy Jarah Al-Hawamdeh)
Updated 18 April 2018
0

Palestinian refugee-amputee climbs Mount Everest to save UNRWA school

DUBAI: Palestinian refugee Jarah Al-Hawamdeh’s dream to become a mountaineer was temporarily sidelined when, at aged 15, he lost his right leg after being diagnosed with bone cancer.
But Jarah, one of six children born to refugee parents at Al-Jofeh in Jordan’s South Amman, has decided to allow this setback to ruin his life and was determined to turn his situation around.
While undergoing cancer treatment at the King Hussein Cancer Centre in Amman, Jarah continued to attend the UNRWA Al-Jofeh Boys School as often as he could. His determination was noticed by the school administration, so his class was moved to the ground floor so he could join in. A bathroom was also modified to fit his wheelchair.
Two years after he lost his leg, Jarah had become an accomplished climber and was the first Palestine refugee climber with an artificial limb. In 2015, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with a message of hope for cancer patients that: “nothing is impossible”.
“It gave me the opportunity to be anything I wanted. It made me special,” according to Jarah. “Not everyone has one leg, and I am using my story to show the world that even if you are facing problems you can overcome them.”
“I wanted to make a strong statement. To be a climber you need to push yourself a lot. Not everybody can be a mountaineer. Let alone someone with one leg.”
And now Jarah has taken on a new challenge, but with a nobler purpose: climbing to the Mount Everest base camp to raise $1 million to keep his beloved school open, and whose mission was reported by UNRWA.


“The Al-Jofeh UNRWA School, which I attended for 10 years, is facing closure due to a drastic 83 percent cut in funding,” Jorah said, to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees that has been running the school.
Jarah’s mission to keep his school open started on April 3 and after an estimated 17,500 steps later, on April 14, he has reached the Mount Everest base camp. His fundraiser website, meanwhile has managed to raised $26,200 so far.
“#MyFirstStep to keep my school open began April 3, and 17,500 steps later on April 14, I finally reached Mt Everest Base Camp (5364 m)! I have done my part, now do yours,” Jarah said on Twitter.
Jarah, however, remains stranded at base camp due to a -30C snow storm and nearby avalances, which could make the climb back down dangerous.
“Once Jarah has internet access again, he will send videos and photos to keep us updated on his journey,” an update from Jarah’s support team posted on his fundraiser website.

Watch a video of Jarah Al-Hawamdeh on his #MyFirstStep to Mount Everest:


Exhibit highlights Wellington’s formative Indian years

A handout photograph recieved in London on March 25, 2019, shows the Deccan Dinner Service, a vast silver gilt service bought by Wellington's fellow officers in the Deccan region of India as a mark of their appreciation. (AFP)
Updated 46 min 4 sec ago
0

Exhibit highlights Wellington’s formative Indian years

  • The “Young Wellington in India” exhibition runs from Saturday until November 3 at Apsley House, which remains the Wellesley family’s London home, on the edge of Hyde Park

LONDON: An exhibition on the Duke of Wellington’s time in India opens in London Saturday, shedding light on formative years before he defeated French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo.
Between 1796 and 1804, as the young Arthur Wellesley, he helped overthrow the Tipu Sultan and masterminded victory in the Battle of Assaye.
A decade later he defeated Napoleon, paving the way for a century of relative peace in Europe and a time of vast British imperial expansion.
The collection includes a dinner service commemorating his leadership in India that was later supplemented with cutlery taken from Napoleon’s carriage.
It also includes books from the 200-volume traveling library that, aged 27, he took with him for the six-month voyage to India in a bid to broaden his education, having finished his studies early.
It included books on India’s history, politics and economics, Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” and philosophical works.
The “Young Wellington in India” exhibition runs from Saturday until November 3 at Apsley House, which remains the Wellesley family’s London home, on the edge of Hyde Park.
Charles Wellesley, 73, the ninth and current Duke of Wellington, said his great-great-great grandfather’s time in India set the stage for defeating Napoleon.
“It was very, very formative... There is no doubt that he learnt a great deal in India,” he said on Monday.
“Napoleon underestimated Wellington and the reason for this exhibition is to show how important in Wellington’s life was his period in India.”
The exhibition features swords, paintings and the Deccan Dinner Service, a vast silver gilt service bought by Wellington’s fellow officers in the Deccan region of India as a mark of their appreciation.
The cutlery for the service was taken from Napoleon after Waterloo and carries his imperial crest.
The service is still used by the family.
Josephine Oxley, keeper of the Wellington Collection, said the India years were “a time when he learned to meld the military and the political, and became skilled at negotiations with the locals.
“It’s a really interesting period of his life.”