Top of Her Game Gamechanger – Suad Abdula

Suad Abdula, is an Emirati Adventurer, wife, proud mother and a full time employee, hoping to become an inspiration to men, women and children. Her mountaineering passion starting in 2013 when she summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. She then came home with a dream to be the first Emirati Woman to summit Everest, a feat she is currently hoping to achieve in May 2018. Her personal mission is to lead the way for women adventurers within the UAE and Middle East. She is an adventurer and always seeking new challenges – Mount Everest being no-doubt the ultimate challenge!

 

What do you consider the main achievements in your life?

My last climb to Aconcagua is one of my biggest achievements to date. Not only is it the highest mountain I’ve climbed and the highest mountain in South America, but it took years, effort and struggles for me to achieve it, all while having a full time job and raising two amazing children.

 

You have a big dream for 2018 – what is it and why are you pursuing it?

I call it Danah’s Quest or my Everest dream and that is to become the first Emirati woman to summit Mount Everest, raise the UAE flag on the summit and return to my beautiful country and share my story with every-one. This is especially for other women who have dreams and need some inspiration to follow them.

Climbing Mount Everest may sound easy, but I have been training hard since 2013 after my first mountain expedition to Kilimanjaro. Since then I have been training physically and mentally while balancing a full time job and a family to make my big dream a reality. I have climbed many mountains metaphorically and will not stop until I summit Everest!

 

What drives you to be at the Top of your Game? What are your success strategies?

I firmly believe anything is possible if we work hard enough for it and never give up no matter how long it takes. Being a mother with a full time job didn’t allow me to pick up, travel and climb all the mountains I wanted to in the span of a few months. Instead it has taken me years and a lot of planning ahead.

I’ve had to delay mountain expeditions because my daughter was in a dance show and I’ve had to cancel trips because my boss was in the office and I didn’t get the leave approved. However, I never gave up. I love being a mother, my job and being and I can do all three with the right attitude.

Another thing is don’t be afraid to ask…there were many situations I was able to resolve by asking, both before travelling and on the mountain and I’ll share one of them: we had to sleep in a hut with a room of 12 bunk beds with both men and women (which is not ideal for our culture or religion). The problem was easily solved when I explained it to them that I wouldn’t share the room with strange men and I ended up having the whole room to myself. I was being called princess at the hut by everyone and they thought it was strange but I don’t let that stop me. I love what I do and do what I love.

 

Finally, it is important for us to recognize the power of men in supporting women. Is there a man who has played an instrumental role in your personal growth and success? Who are they and how did they influence you?

I am so blessed to have a father who continues to support me every single day. To my father, having an education was important and I got married when I was 19, got a job, and he insisted I continue my studies, so I was working during the day and studying in the evening while having a household to take care of. I don’t know how I did it, but he believed I could and so I did. I worked hard and it became a habit. If I’m not busy all the time achieving goals it doesn’t feel right!

My father is a safety engineer, so when I first came back from Kilimanjaro, he told me to never think of Everest. And here we are today, he’s one of my biggest supporters and although he still talks to me about the risks of climbing Everest, he still believes in my dream and in me.

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