Jordanian becomes first Arab to scale 8th highest summit, Mt Manaslu

Al-Shelleh, who is also a brand ambassador for the Middle East’s first fully sustainable community, The Sustainable City, is preparing to scale the world’s highest summit, Mount Everest. (Screengrab)
Updated 29 October 2018
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Jordanian becomes first Arab to scale 8th highest summit, Mt Manaslu

  • Standing at 8,156 meters above sea level, Manaslu brought on plenty of challenges for the 28-year old climber
  • Al-Shelleh, who is also a brand ambassador for the Middle East’s first fully sustainable community, The Sustainable City, is preparing to scale the world’s highest summit, Mount Everest

DUBAI: Jordanian climber Dolores Al-Shelleh is the first-ever Arab to scale Nepal’s Mount Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world.

Standing at 8,156 meters above sea level, Manaslu brought on plenty of challenges for the 28-year old climber.

Al-Shelleh, who is also a brand ambassador for the Middle East’s first fully sustainable community, The Sustainable City, is preparing to scale the world’s highest summit, Mount Everest.

The climber sat down with Arab News to talk about her endeavors. 

  • How did this climb help in the preparation for Everest?

It was definitely an experience to learn from! This mountain is known for its notorious avalanches and a 15% chance of fatality amongst climbers. I faced many challenges during this climb particularly; crevasses, ice falls, snow storms and this was the reality of how Everest is going to be like. Staying for 40 days on the mountain, my team members became like family, we ate food we weren’t used to, living on the bare minimum, and keeping up with the constant rotations to acclimatize before the summit. Such long demanding climbs need a lot of mental strength - on the summit day it took 11 hours to reach the top with subzero temperatures challenging us and I also decided to go down on the same day of the summit straight to base camp, which means climbing down using repelling most of the time on steep glacier and ice fall areas, and doing so after such long days makes everything triple the difficulty and risky.

  • What was the main obstacle you faced on this climb?

I had quite a couple; in the beginning the muddy and rainy long days going through the steep parts of the forests and villages in Nepal, also the high altitude which means low oxygen levels which makes healing from injuries and the immune system weak, feeling exhausted from walking for hours every day and sometimes we had to walk starting 3am which means very few hours of sleep, and I got my ankle injured at the very start of the climb - this proved quite a difficult injury during the journey. There were also lot of steep routes and bridge crossing of crevasses in the ice fall area. The freezing cold evenings on higher camps made moving around difficult, even the heat with the snow got us all sun burnt no matter how much you try to avoid that, We also had an earth quake during one of the nights on base camp, it wasn’t a severe one but it had an impact. 

  • How did you prepare for this climb?

Physically I’m pretty vigorous at the gym - I do most of my workouts at low oxygen chambers to train my body to handle the altitudes. I also climbed mount Elbrus a month before I went to Mount Manalsu to keep my body acclimatized. Mentally I was ready for this new adventure and I knew I had to be determined to succeed and think positively as much as I could.

  • What does this rank in terms of difficulty climbing among all your climbs?

It’s the most difficult climb so far not only because of its height but also because of the advanced level of technical climbing needed to make the climb. The environmental changes during our climbs were frequent and so we had a number of rotations to help us acclimatize. 

  • What has the role as the brand ambassador of The Sustainable City played in this climb? And the next one?

I am being supported by a true believer of women capabilities, being the brand ambassador of TSC - I am raising awareness for three of the UN Sustainable Development goals: Gender Equality, Climate Action and Sustainable Cities and Communities. As I continue my journey I will always highlight the difficulties our Earth is facing due to the climate change affects. I think it is very important for people to understand the importance of our climate’s wellbeing and it’s effects on our lives.


Stop it! Japan anti-groper app becomes smash hit

Updated 34 sec ago
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Stop it! Japan anti-groper app becomes smash hit

  • The app has been downloaded more than 237,000 times
  • There were nearly 900 groping and other harassment cases on Tokyo trains and subways reported in 2017

TOKYO: A Tokyo police smartphone app to scare off molesters has become a smash hit in Japan, where women have long run the gauntlet of groping on packed rush-hour trains.
Victims of groping can activate the Digi Police app, which either blasts out a voice shouting “stop it” at top volume, or produces a full-screen SOS message — which victims can show other passengers — reading: “There is a molester. Please help.”
The app has been downloaded more than 237,000 times, an “unusually high figure” for a public service app, said police official Keiko Toyamine.
“Thanks to its popularity, the number is increasing by some 10,000 every month,” Toyamine said.
Victims are often too scared to call out for help, she said. But by using the SOS message mode, “they can notify other passengers about groping while remaining silent.”
There were nearly 900 groping and other harassment cases on Tokyo trains and subways reported in 2017, according to the latest available data from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.
“But it’s the tip of the iceberg,” Toyamine said, with victims often hesitant to come forward.
Offenders face up to six months in jail or fines of up to ¥500,000 ($5,500 dollars). The potential jail sentence is increased to 10 years if violence or threats are used.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department quietly launched the free Digi Police app three years ago.
It initially aimed to provide information for elderly people, as well as parents and their children about scams or prowlers.
But the function to “repel molesters” was added a few months after the launch.
And an online conversation about the app — caused by a female pop idol being assaulted late last year — resulted in its sudden popularity.
Yui Kimura, a 27-year-old beer shop employee on the nation’s northern island of Hokkaido, says she is always worried about groping whenever she visits the capital. “I tend to be vigilant on Tokyo trains as dodgy men can happen to be in front of me at any time,” Kimura said.
Reina Oishi, a 21-year-old university student in Tokyo, also said: “I want to download the app as I have been groped so many times.”
Experts agree that the app could be a boon for “silent” victims.
“Molesters tend to target those who appear shy and reluctant to lodge a police complaint,” said Akiyoshi Saito, a certified social worker who supported some 800 former molesters during a rehabilitation program.
Groping on trains can occur in any country where trains are frequently crowded, Saito said.
“But the idea that men are superior to women, which is Japan’s traditional bias, may help sustain” sexual harassment on trains in the country, he added.
Awareness of the issue has risen in Japan in recent years, with women exchanging tips on how to avoid the unwanted attention online.
East Japan Railway runs women-only carriages during rush hours and has set up security cameras on some lines notorious for a high rate of groping.