Yesterday SS arranged for a gathering for Omar Samra, the first Egyptian to climb Everest. It started with a short presentation by Omar for his expedition, his dream about climbing, the preparations, the challenges and the success, and ended with an open discussion with all sorts of questions.
I didn’t take notes during the presentation, and I didn’t photos too (except for only one using my mobile). I was more interested in just listening and thinking about it, but here are parts of an interview with him.
ExplorersWeb: Tell us more about yourself!
Omar: I’m 28, have two sisters and one brother (he is coming with me until Base Camp!), and finishing my MBA at London Business School with the ambition of switching careers from banking to marketing/product management. A dream job would be to travel the world with my girlfriend and write about it. I guess it would be hard to find someone to pay for that privilege! Having said this, I love the balance between my professional career and the comforts that come with living in the city on the one hand, and traveling, exploring, and being in the great outdoors on the other.
ExplorersWeb: Egypt has an incredible culture and history. Lately though, the country has been troubled. What kind of message would you like to bring your fellow Egyptians with your climb?
Omar: That one can accomplish anything he puts his mind to and against seemingly insurmountable odds. I am definitely not saying that everyone should go climb a mountain or Everest for that matter — although I admit it would be nice if the sport became more popular — but I hope that my attempt can help motivate and inspire people to relentlessly chase their own dreams with eyes wide open.
On another note…. two things came to my mind after this evening: the first is Tintin in the Tibet, this was my first time ever to know about the Tibet, to see people hiking, and to know about avalanche and snow. Tab3an this is different from what Omar told us and what he showed us in the videos, it’s really amazing seeing him in the camps, and on top of Everest, barely able to talk out of the physical strains and lack of oxygen!
And the second thing is a quote from Leo The African by Amin Maalouf: “Many men discover the whole world while seeking only to make their fortune. But as for you, my son, you will stumble on your treasure as you seek to discover the world.” p.187….
Everyone of us had a dream when he was young, and it’s his choice whether to follow this dream or to live life in the what-if scenarios. You can dream of building your own business, you can dream about being the CEO of a MNC, you can dream about discovering the world, you can dream about being a celebrity, you can dream of raising your kids to be the nation’s leaders… No matter what your dream is, just go for it. Don’t be like one of those who just talk of a better tomorrow, then falls in the trap of laziness. 3ala ra`i Fransico “Cada uno tiene su estilo”.
So what is the importance of Everest? For Omar, Everest was his dream since he was 16 years old. But does this mean that Everest in itself should be the target for any person who want to achieve the impossible? Absolutely not. Each and every one of us has his own Everest, it’s that target that you plan for for so long. It’s that thing you want to be proud of when you are 60 years old, that thing you want to do with your years on earth so your grandchildren would beleive in their goals in life. That’s the real Everest.
One last thing, it’s about mountaineering, I am not well acquainted with this sport, I only tried hiking in wadi degla and in el karm, so I had just a glimpse of that amazing feeling when you are on top of a mountain. It is so ‘spiritual‘ in a way. Prophets used to go for mountains, take Moses (PBUH) for example in Sinai, and here is Mohamed (PBUH) going to ghar hera`… Definitely mountains are not just rocks compiled together to form a higher ground, they have a deep spiritual something that I can’t define, but I can feel.
So, what’s your Everest??