Friday,22 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1217, (16 - 22 October 2014)
Friday,22 February, 2019
Issue 1217, (16 - 22 October 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Climbing to heaven

The nation this week mourned the death of the Egyptian mountain climber Heba Al-Husseini in southwestern Morocco, writes Inas Mazhar. Reports said Al-Husseini slipped off the peak of Mount Toubkal, the highest in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

According to the Middle East News Agency, Al-Husseini died during practice in Marrakech, Morocco. She had reached the summit of Toubkal Mountain (4,167 metres) then slipped into a deep crevice which made it difficult for the Moroccan guide and ascent team to reach her.

MENA added that the failure in rescuing the climber was due to the huge 400-metre depth of the crevice which forced the Moroccan authorities to use helicopters and special forces to try a rescue operation. Instead, they recovered the body and transferred it to a morgue.
Hespress, a Moroccan news website reported that the Egyptian was among four other climbers and a mountain guide. Among them was Boshra Baybano who was quoted as telling the Anadolu news agency that Al-Husseini had slipped off while she was taking pictures after successfully reaching the mountain summit. Baybano believes Al-Husseini might have lost her balance due to the ice covering the top of the mountain.

Egypt’s Ambassador to Morocco Ihab Ahmed Gamaleddin monitored the developments with Moroccan authorities until the body reached Cairo. The funeral was held on Saturday.

The well-known Cairo Runners group eulogised Al-Husseini on their Facebook page. “It saddens us greatly to say goodbye to the beautiful soul of Heba Al-Husseini. Heba was not only a runner and adventurist, but also a humanitarian whose kindness and bright smile will live on even after her death.

We ask that you remember her in your prayers.”

The fact is Al-Husseini actually succeeded twice that day -- climbing to the peak and to heaven.

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