Racing to the top: Dubai woman climbs mountain to raise funds for Syria
After hearing about chemical attacks in Syria, Nada Al Assaad Kivela decided to spend her Eid holiday climbing the 4,167-meter Mt Toubkal, the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains (Courtesy of Gulf News)
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A Dubai woman has conquered a 4,000-metre peak in Morocco to raise funds for victims of the Syrian conflict.
Nada Al Assaad Kivela last week scaled the 4,167 meter Mt Toubkal, the highest summit in the Atlas Mountains and North Africa.
Kivela, a Lebanese and Finnish national, finished her ascent on October 13.
The marketing and administration manager plans to raise at least $10,000 (around Dh36,700) for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) NGO which is treating the ill and injured in Syria.
More than 100,000 people have died in Syria since armed groups started fighting government forces in 2011.
Kivela said the recently alleged chemical weapons use in Syria shook her into action.
“I was deeply shocked after seeing in the newspapers the horrendous photos of bodies of innocent Syrian children who died while sleeping from the horrific neurotoxic effects of poison gas. These photos influenced my decision to take up this challenge,” Kivela added.
“I was supposed to travel to Marrakech for a relaxing Eid Al Adha holiday but I suddenly felt that something valuable was missing from my life. I needed to find that missing part by lending a hand to the needy people around the world subjected to extreme poverty, famine, natural disasters and war conflicts.”
She said she had no experience in mountaineering above 1,800 metres. The amateur climber said she paid for the entire trip, but hopes to exceed the fundraising target.
“I’m counting on contributions from different sources during and once the climb is completed,” she had told Gulf News prior to her expedition.
“People in Syria have been suffering the consequences of the crisis that is now in its third year. The health-care system has collapsed and people who are wounded or chronically ill are without medical assistance,” it says on her page.
“Médecins Sans Frontières is one of the few international aid organisations providing life-saving medical care inside Syria… Please donate today and help their teams extend life-saving medical care to more people.”