In the Spring of 2019, four Arab women put it all on the line and climbed to the highest point on Earth.  “The Dream of Everest” is a feature length documentary that chronicles the story of these inspiring women from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Oman as they train and prepare to climb to the summit of Mt. Everest.

Meet the Team

Joyce Azzam

Climber from Lebanon

Conservation Architect and Urban Designer (PhD)

ON ARAB WOMEN AND GIRLS:

“Arab Women and girls are not given permission to dream. I had a dream that should not be mine: my Ph.D & my ‘7 Summits’ . I am climbing Everest to complete my dream for all of those women out there who are told they shouldn’t have one.”

Mona Shahab

Climber from Saudi Arabia

Child Clinical Psychologist by profession and an adventurer by birth.

WHY CLIMB EVEREST FOR CHANGE?

“If not for my generation, then for the generations to come. Together we will shift perceptions and shatter stereotypes. Here’s to becoming more accepting and tolerant. Let’s move some mountains and make some waves.”

Nadhirah Alharthy

Climber from Oman

With a Master’s degree in Geography, Nadhirah Alharthy is poised to become her country’s first female to ever summit Mt. Everest.

ON HER HIJAB:

“Growing up in a conservative environment made me want to step outside the box Arab women are put into. It seems crazy to others who wear the Hijab like myself, but I learned to believe in my capabilities and I to show others that their dreams are possible too.”

Nelly Attar

Climber from Lebanon

Founder at MOVE – A females only fitness dance studio based in Riyadh

ON FITNESS AND WOMEN IN SAUDI:
“Sports was my gateway to create a positive impact for people in Saudi Arabia, and beyond. I’ve switched careers, taken my own athletic activities to another level. Movement is essential for life, and regular physical activity does wonders for our physical and mental health. Let’s MOVE the world! 

Elia Saikaly

Director, Cinematographer and Climber

Award Winning Adventure Filmmaker

He’s been on Mt. Everest seven times and is one of the few people on Earth who can consistently film above 8000m. Elia’ssignature Everest imagery has garnered millions of views online been seen on Discovery Channel, BBC, ESPN, HBO, NBC, Outside Television and many more.

WATCH THE TRAILER

In the era of women empowerment, there is no more appropriate time than now for these 4 women to attempt the impossible, break negative stereotypes, spread  tolerance, inclusiveness and demonstrate to women from the Arab world that anything is possible.

CONNECT WITH OUR TEAM
Kim Bernhard has joined our team as Executive Producer of the ‘Dream of Everest’ project. Kim has 20+ years international executive experience in the media business with companies like: WWE, 34th America’s Cup, Red Bull Air Race World Championship, Red Bull International, Eurosport and Viasat, with focus on media sales, distribution, strategy development, strategy implementation and broadcast production. While the team is on Everest, Kim will be the project’s primary point of contact. For sponsorship, partnership, and media inquiries, please use the form below.

Kim Bernhard

Executive Producer

Please prove you are human by selecting the Flag.

FOLLOW OUR JOURNEY
In the era of women empowerment, there is no more appropriate time than now for these 4 women to attempt the impossible, break negative stereotypes, spread tolerance, inclusiveness and to demonstrate to women from the Arab world that anything is possible. Follow along via our video dispatches. timeline posts, and media gallery.
Expedition Timeline
Media Gallery
Expedition Timeline

Safe at camp 4

The team of Arab women who successfully summited Mt. Everest.

Joyce Azzam summits Mt. Everest

Joyce Azzam became the first Lebanese woman to complete the seven summits.

Nelly Attar summits Mt. Everest

Nelly Attar became the second Lebanese woman to summit Mt. Everest.

Nadhirah Alharthy summits Mt. Everest

Nadhira Alharthy became the first Omani woman to stand on top of the world.

Mona Shahab summits Mt. Everest

Mona Shahab became the second Saudi Arabian woman to climb Mt. Everest.

Ready for the summit

The team made it to camp 2 and are patiently waiting for the summit window to open. A rest day at 22, 000ft, up the Lhotse Face, across the Yellow Band, into Camp 4 and then up towards the top of the worlds. The summit awaits!

Looking up at the Giants

We stare up at these giants from the base of the roof of the world in anticipation of the brief moment when we are graced with the privilege, if fortunate enough, to stand on their crown and look down upon them.

Milky Way at Everest basecamp

And there she is, the Milky Way in all of her magic and glory at Everest Basecamp.

First rotation through the Khumbu Icefall

The team successfully makes their first rotation through the Khumbu Icefall, to camp 2 and back safely.

The team trains in the Icefall

The team heads out in the Khumbu Icefall to the first ladder as a warm up for the first rotation to Camp 1.

Full Moon over Basecamp

It’s 120am on Mt. Everest, the weather is perfect, there is a sea of stars above us, the moon is rising and we’re heading into the Khumbu Icefall.

Training for Everest in the Pinnacles

The team of Arab women work with guides to practice techniques they’ll be using higher on the mountain from rope work, using their ascenders, crossings ladders, abseiling and more.

The Summit Team

We’ve all heard the saying: getting to the summit is optional, returning to the bottom safely is mandatory. But how do you actually achieve the highest levels of safety and success?

Puja ceremony at basecamp

This morning we had our Puja ceremony, the spiritual blessing performed by a Lama, a ritual that all who attempt Everest partake in before stepping foot into the Khumbu Icefall. It was a beautiful scene under a dramatic sky where climbers of varying cultures and religions stood together in solidarity, in honour of the mountain, all asking for safe passage and safe return.

From Dingboche to Lobuche

The team trek's from the village of Dingboche and experiences one of the most beautiful areas in the entire Khumbu Valley.

Chukpa Lare

High above the clouds on the trail to Mt. Everest basecamp is the Memorial Site known as Chukpa Lare. Chortens dressed in ceremonial prayer flags are scattered across the plateau, built in honour of fallen climbers.

The trek to Gorakshep

The team left Lobuche village and are now on their way to the village of GorakShep. One more day and we'll arrive to Everest basecamp where the preparations for the climb to the top of the world begin.

Finding flow at 4300m

Finding flow at 4300m above sea level. A week ago I boarded a flight from Ottawa, Canada and mentally prepared for the sufferfest that was in store.

The Trek to Dingboche

The teams treks onwards from the lowland forested village of Deboche across the majestic Khumbu Valley to Dingboche at 4300m above sea level.

The Puja Ceremony in Pangboche

The Puja ceremony is a spiritual blessing that is performed by a Lama. Prayers and offerings are made to the various Gods and Godesses of the mountains and safe passage is requested for all climbers.

A Cedar tree in the Himalayas

Joyce Azzam from Lebanon, with the support of two environment ministers planted the highest cedar tree on Earth just behind the village of Theynboche on the way to Mt. Everest.

Local life in the Khumbu Valley

A little moment with Nelly Attar from Lebanon and a local Sherpa girl. It's not uncommon to see children playing in the valley in the lowlands on the way to Everest basecamp. As the team climbs higher, there is less culture as living above 4000m is incredibly difficult.

Mona in Namche Bazaar

After spending two nights in Namche, the team is off to the village Deboche en route to Mt. Everest basecamp. Mona Shahab is seen here just outside Hotel Panorama getting ready to make the 6-7 hour trek through the Himalayas.

The team has arrived in the Khumbu Valley

The first official team photo on the way to Mt. Everest. It's on! The journey has begun.

The trek from Lukla to Namche

A series of images of our team from Lukla to Namche on the way to Mt. Everest basecamp.

Training in the desert for 8000m

With Everest season just around the corner, Nelly Attar prepares by breaking in her 8000m boots in the desert in Saudi Arabia.

Winter ascent on Lobuche East

Nelly and Mona summited Lobuche East in Nepal, their 2nd winter ascent in the Himalayas.

Island Peak Winter Ascent

Mona Shahab raises the Saudi Arabia flag on the summit of Island Peak in Nepal.

Mona training for Everest in the Himalayas

To prepare for Everest, Mona set her sights on two Himalayan peaking during the winter season in Nepal.

Joyce summits Mt. Vinson

With the support of the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Joyce Azzam completes the 6th of her 7 summits challenge by standing on the highest point in Antarctica.

Training on Ama Dablam

Nadhirah Alharthy traveled from Oman to Nepal and set her sights on Ama Dablam to train for her summit bid on the world's tallest mountain.

Joyce summits Mt. Lobuche

On a training expedition to Nepal, Joyce topped out on Lobuche East in preparation for Mt. Everest and raised the Lebanon flag on the summit.

Meet Nelly Attar

Nelly was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. She completed her academic studies in Psychology, and was awarded a BSc from the American University of Beirut (Lebanon) and an MRes from Kingston University (United Kingdom). 

Meet Joyce Azaam

Joyce Azzam is a trailblazer, a solo female world-traveler and the conqueror of over 26-mountains around the world, this 34-year old woman has already climbed on 6 continents and Everest is the last of her ‘7 Summits challenge’. When successful, Joyce will become the first Lebanese women to reach the summit of Everest.

Meet Mona Shahab

Child Clinical Psychologist by profession and an adventurer by birth, if not on a mountain or running a race, Mona is probably planning and training for one, buried in a book, or analyzing data behind her computer screen as she attempts her highest peak thus far - a doctorate degree (PhD) in Clinical Psychology in the Netherlands.

Meet Nadhirah Alharthy

In a country where mountaineering falls far outside the traditional gender purview of women, Oman's Nadhirah Alharthy is poised to become her country’s first female to ever summit Mt. Everest.

Joyce Azzam and the 7 Summits Dream

In April of 2018, during pre-production, I had the opportunity to film with Joyce Azzam in my homeland, Lebanon. Meet this inspiring woman who is about to become the first Lebanese woman to climb the 7 Summits.

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