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

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

KSRelief chief presented with 2019 moderation award

Updated 19 September 2019

KSRelief chief presented with 2019 moderation award

MAKKAH: The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, has been named the winner of the 2019 moderation award.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal made the announcement at a ceremony held on Wednesday in Jeddah.

The award, in its third year, is considered one of the most important in promoting the values of moderation and combating extremism, both internally and externally.

Al-Rabeeah has held 13 positions that contributed to his selection for the award, most notably minister of health, and pediatric surgery consultant, a role in which he performed 47 operations for conjoined twins from 20 countries.

The Saudi National Siamese Twins Separation Program is a global reference and one of Saudi Arabia’s most distinguished medical humanitarian initiatives worldwide.

In December 1990, Al-Rabeeah hit local and international headlines after making history in the Kingdom by performing complex surgery to separate the first conjoined Saudi twins at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah

The case of the conjoined Malaysian twins Ahmed and Mohammed was particularly demanding. The family of the two children appealed to the Kingdom’s government to conduct the separation operation, and Al-Rabeeah carried out successful surgery lasting 23.5 hours in September 2002, by royal request.

After taking over as general supervisor of KSRelief, Al-Rabeeah oversaw 176 projects in 37 countries, including key areas such as food security, health, water, sanitation, education, women, children, vaccination and shelter.

He also implemented the directives of King Salman, providing various humanitarian and relief programs and building partnerships and community support with other countries.

The center executed 1,050 projects in 44 countries in addition to 225 projects dedicated to women and 224 for children.