Dubai,11 October 2016: Omar Samra, the first Egyptian to climb Mount Everest, shared his aspirational journey today at the Global Islamic Economic Summit (GIES) in Madinat Jumeirah. Talking about the challenges he faced and the steps he took to overcome them, Samra inspired the audience and also shared insights into his future endeavor of becoming Egypt’s first ever astronaut.
As a young child, Samra was diagnosed with asthma and was told to take up intense sports to overcome the disease. In doing so, he developed a liking for extreme adventurers that eventually led him to climbing his first ever mountain in Switzerland. After falling in love with mountains and climbing twelve more, Samra decided he wanted to reach the top of Mount Everest.
“When we take up a challenge, and go through all the steps to overcome the challenge, we are welcomed by the rewards,” noted Samra.
The adventurer vividly described the excruciating and physically challenging journey from the base camp of the world’s tallest peak till its summit. Surrounded by only ice and forceful wind, Samra and his fellow mountaineers struggled to continue uphill. One piece of advice, however, stuck with him.
“Before I left, I met someone who had climbed Mount Everest before. And he told me this: ‘Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.’ At the time, I thought to myself, why did I travel two hours to hear this one sentence? But when I was there, in the ice, barely able to breathe, this advice stuck with me. And I kept moving,” recollected Samra.
Calling his brother and mother through a satellite phone, Samra shared his emotional moments on the top of the world’s highest mountain, becoming the first Egyptian and youngest Arab in history to achieve this feat.
Now winner of the Explorers Grandslam title and the founder of Wild Guanabana, a major disruptor to the Middle East and North Africa’s adventure travel industry, Samra talked about what the future holds for him. While completing his MBA in London Business School, Samra was inspired by Sir Richard Branson’s space programme and decided to apply to a NASA funded organization that will select twenty three people from across the world to go into space.
After difficult physical and intellectual tests, Samra succeeded in beating millions of people to become the only Arab to be selected in this programme. He is now set to be the first Eyptian astronaut in the next few years.
Samra stressed on the importance of the future of the space industry and how it would need resources from everyone in the community to develop. But with a mission in mind, Samra emphasized on the importance of never giving up.
“No one can tell you what your limits are. Only you know how much you can achieve. Something magical happens when you break down your mind,” noted Samra.
© Press Release 2016