(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Fifteen-year-old Moawiya Saleh Al Shunnar has become the youngest Emirati to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa standing at 5895 metres above sea level.
The Year 11 student of Dubai English Speaking College (DESC) reached the summit of Kilimanjaro last August, after a seven-day ascent with a group of 15 people, of whom five dropped out along the way.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world and is also one of the 'Big 7' worldwide peaks to be conquered globally. Speaking on the occasion, Moawiya Al Shunnar said: "The feeling of elation on reaching the top is very memorable, and brings with it a flood of emotions, memories of the challenges and obstacles encountered along the way and the journey will be remembered in the future, more so than the summit."
Al Shunnar attributed the idea of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to his father who encouraged him to go on this adventure. Moawiya had just completed his bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award at school which included an expedition into the mountains of Oman, and so he saw this as a great challenge and adventure.
"The greatest challenge was getting physically fit for the climb especially without knowing what to expect, including the cold. Temperatures at the top were -15 to -20 degree Celsius, compounded by the fact that only 50 per cent of oxygen is available at sea level, in addition to the sheer exhaustion of such a climb. One more challenge was the preparation and training for the climb which we completed while fasting during Ramadan," he added.
His other interests include playing tennis, Tang Soo Do (black belt), football, basketball, and horse riding.
He also plays piano and guitar, and enjoys chess. And as with all teenagers, electronics and computers make up an essential part of his entertainment.
The teenager dedicated his achievement to the UAE and its leaders who have been a role model in overcoming difficulties and challenges.
He also extended his heartfelt thanks to Rahhalah Company and its team for their outstanding efforts, which significantly contributed to making the trip a success.