We’ve all heard “climbing mountains” as a reference to challenges one might stumble upon in life. In the case of RISE, it is a literal mountain to climb as the first all Arab women team is set to conquer the 8,848-meter-high Mount Everest in 2018.

This expedition is led by the renowned Jordanian mountaineer, Mostafa Salameh, who is one of only 12 people in the world to have conquered all seven summits and ascended both poles. 

After summiting Everest for the first time, Salameh vowed he would only scale it again alongside a Jordanian woman.

This sparked the idea of RISE; an expedition which aims to rise against stereotypes, transcend societal and cultural mantras in the Arab world, as well as promote female empowerment. 

Setting out on this trek will undoubtedly be bleak and arduous without extensive and professional training. 

Many factors come into play as one ascends a peak, such as low air pressure, lack of oxygen, and unexpected weather conditions. Being mentally prepared is also crucial and just as important as being physically fit for the challenge. 

The team completed a training course in Nepal earlier this year; it allowed them to expertly practice mountain safety protocols and high altitude climate conditions (5000+ meters).

The group of adventurers consists of five Jordanian women: Farah AbuBaker, Abeer Seikaly, Israa Abu-Soufeh, Maria Halaseh, and Iman Al-Majali.

They are of different ages and backgrounds - including a university student and a grandmother - all with various reasons to join this expedition.

They share one unified ultimatum, which is to conquer the highest peak in the world and achieve their mission statement: “To inspire people in our region to defy stereotypes and rise with their communities in pursuit of their dreams, irrespective of their gender, age, and faith.”