He is the only Jordanian to reach the world’s 7 summits. The first-ever Muslim to shout out the call to prayer from the highest peak in the world. And soon, one of the 30 human beings to conquer both poles. But Mostafa Salameh believes anyone can do it, if they learn to reinvent themselves.
Why did you go from mountain climbing to giving inspirational talks?
In the Arab world there are so many people who think that the situation in which they were born defines them. So I wanted to take people outside the Middle East and inspire them to follow their dreams before following their destiny.
I was born into a family of 10 brothers; my father was a lorry driver and my mom was a midwife, so I didn’t have the means to study. But I taught myself English, worked as a waiter in England for many years, finished my business degree, and started working to summit Mount Everest. It’s all about believing in yourself, because when you do, people believe in you too.
But how do you give people concrete tools to pursue their dreams in a context like today’s, when reality pulls you down?
The question is how to make a major change in your life. We are so busy looking at the news, and getting upset about what is happening, that we don’t visualize another future. But we have to modify our identities as we go through life: That means we need to act.
I knew nothing about climbing; but I had a dream. So I set goals in the long and short term. I had to quit smoking, get fit, take a course, and learn how my body worked. And even when I faced the mountain, I had a chest infection and frost bite, but I knew I had to be patient and keep trying. Everyone has an Everest in their life. You just need to identify what it is.
You have been to the top of the world. What next?
I want to give back to the community, so every time I climb now I do it for a cause. After I met a girl suffering from cancer at the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) in Jordan, I fundraised 1.4 million dollars climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Next year, I am climbing in Bolivia and Peru for the children of Gaza.
For more information: Visit Mostafa’s website