VIDEO: Saudi mountaineer Mona Shahab on the charitable cause that helped drive her to the summit of Everest

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Mona Shahab reached the top of Everest on May 23. (Screenshot/Elia Saikaly Youtube)
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Mona Shahab says she carried an ice axe bought for her late friend to the summit of Everest as a tribute. (Screenshot/Elia Saikaly Youtube)
Updated 21 August 2019
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VIDEO: Saudi mountaineer Mona Shahab on the charitable cause that helped drive her to the summit of Everest

  • Shahab vows to continue her close friend's charitable work helping underprivileged children in Egypt

JEDDAH: A Saudi mountaineer who climbed Mount Everest this year has described how her commitment to her late friend’s charity helped drive her to the top of the world’s highest mountain.

 

 

Mona Shahab reached the highest point of the world on May 23 as part of a team of Arab women.

In an emotional video published this week, the mountaineer breaks down as she describes how her close friend and fellow mountaineer Marwa Fayed died in 2013 after complications during childbirth.

Shahab vowed to continue Fayed’s charitable work helping underprivileged children in Egypt, and used her Everest ascent to raise money for the cause.

“I’m doing it to help Marwa Fayed’s Toy Run give 300 children in underprivileged areas in Egypt a chance to be change agents in their communities,” Shahab says in the video posted by filmmaker and mountaineer Elia Saikaly, who documented their ascent.

In an interview with Arab News days before her successful ascent, Shahab spoke about how she hoped her ascent would inspire Saudi women.

“Saudi women can, Saudi women will, reach whatever heights they set their mind and heart to,” she said.

To help Shahab reach her fundraising goal, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/Everest-for-365-Deeds-Forward


Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. (SPA)
Updated 22 September 2019

Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

  • Debris major cause of death for marine life
  • Disintegration of plastic waste threaten human food resources

JEDDAH: A beach cleanup program targeting marine waste has been launched by the Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The firm, which is behind the development of a luxury seafront tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, is already developing a range of environment-friendly policies such as zero-waste-to-landfill, zero-discharge-to-the-sea, zero-single-use plastics, and achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality. On Saturday it launched the Marine Debris Beach Clean Up Program as part of the Red Sea Project. “Eliminating marine debris is receiving increasing attention from the media that it has become a global cause, urging us to participate in protecting our virgin environment for which our seafront is known,” said TRSDC CEO John Pagano.
“The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. It will also shed light on the importance of reducing the use of nonrecyclable plastics, in addition to encouraging the disposing of these substances in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The TRSDC will continue to explore ways for recycled materials to be a source of employment opportunities for the area’s residents, he added. 
TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land. It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

HIGHLIGHTS

• TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land.

• It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

• Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach cleanup program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject

Dr. Rusty Brainard, chief environment officer at TRSDC, said: “Marine debris causes significant damage to the environment and is a major cause of death for many marine organism species, which may ingest these substances. Moreover, the disintegration of plastic waste into small pieces that penetrate into the food web base may also threaten human food resources. Our program for eliminating marine litter is a long-term project that includes ongoing monitoring of environmental health, as well as periodic intervention to clean up any waste in the Red Sea Project.”
TRSDC has teamed up with leading academic institutions in the Kingdom, such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Tabuk, on a number of educational initiatives, added Brainard.
The partnership between TRSDC and KAUST has led to an international competition — “Brains for Brine” — that encourages academics, scientists, engineers and the water industry to find solutions for managing the disposal of brine, which is a waste product of water desalination, in a sustainable and commercially viable way.
KAUST has also helped TRSDC with marine spatial planning for the Red Sea Project.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves around 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach clean-up program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject