By Mona Shahab, The Empowerment Hub
Twenty-two incredible women, 5,895 meters of grit and passion.
It’s 3 a.m. on March 23. Nauseous, light headed, exhausted, sleepy, cold, and tired of wiping silent tears with the back of our gloves, 22 hikers place one foot in front of the other. Each footstep represents a brick and each brick represents a smile. Would “mind” out-win “matter?” Only time would tell.
Rewinding the tape somewhat, “I want to climb a mountain!” echoed in The Empowerment Hub’s humble office on a sunny afternoon back in 2015. Mawaddah Women Charity honored us with a visit to discuss potential collaboration, and in the midst of the conversation, one of their board members took us by surprise when she mentioned the magic word “mountain.”
“It takes a village to raise a child.” We’ve joined forces as a community to help build a happy, friendly and most importantly, safe environment for children of divorcees. Mawaddah Women Charity, based in Saudi Arabia, work closely with children of divorcees, and have taken it upon them to create a safety haven for children of divorcees.
Not too long ago, visiting hours took place at police stations. Today, Mawaddah is the legal hub for visits. “Beit Mawaddah” aka “Mawaddah Home” is a safety haven where visiting hours take place; drop offs, pick-ups and more. It’s every child’s right to feel safe with their parent/caregiver, and it’s every parent’s right to know that their child is safe during their absence.
Finding the bricks to build this safety haven is going to take a little more than one event. Nabni Lahom is a campaign initiated by The Empowerment Hub, which began in Fall 2015 and will come full circle in July. Kilimajaro4Mawaddah is one of many initiatives under Nabni Lahom. If you are interested in finding the bricks to bring Beit Mawaddah to life, hop on the wagon!
Founder of TIMA® Sport Apparel and Studio55
Owner & Founder of My Little School
WAFA AL KHAYAL
Breast & Endocrine Surgeon
HEIDI ALAUDEEN AL ASKARY
(Age: 15, turned 16 on the mountain)
Student and Heidi Al Askary’s Daughter
Director of Special Projects, Olayan Financing Company
Specific quotes for certain pictures from DropBox:
Here’s to our sponsors and partners who believed in us and the cause. Thank you! A special thank you to:
- NuYu Fitness, our Denali Sponsors (SR 100,000)
- Alf Khair, our Ultra-Marathon Sponsor (SR 75,000)
- Shell, our Marathon Sponsor (SR 50,000)
- Brightening Tech, our IT Sponsor
- Omar Samra and the Wild Guanabana family who made a dream come true for many.
– The Empowerment Hub & Kilimanjaro4Mawaddah Team
“Only on Kili can you touch the clouds, kiss a rock, hug the moon and have a Masai family.” – Rania Zendaki
“It was a challenging trip. Your biggest competitor is yourself. The challenge wasn’t the physical aspect, but breaking your mental boundaries to push yourself to reach the peak. Reaching the top is great, doing it for Beit Mawaddah is greater.” – J