A recent silver screen evening saw a group of mountaineers relive the most compelling and exciting moments of their lives. A selection of the first Arab and foreign nationals to reach the "roof of the world" attended a special screening of "Everest," a new film inspired by true events that took place in 1996 around the highest mountain peak in the world.
The premier evening, held at Novo Cinema in Dubai Festival City, was a response to an invitation by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of the Department of Statistics and Community Development, DSCD, in Sharjah – a prominent young adventurer in the region and known mountain climber in the UAE and Mount Everest climber in 2013, who wanted to celebrate the release of the new film alongside a group of fellow adventurers and friends who share a passion for adventure and challenges.
The special screening of the film was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Director of the Department of Statistics and Community Development, DSCD, in Sharjah, Dananji Jaha, Ambassador of Nepal to the UAE, members of the UAE Armed Forces who are preparing to go on a trip to climb Mount Everest this year, Kuwaiti adventurer Zeid Al Rifai, the first Arab man to climb Mount Everest, Palestinian Susanne Al Houbi, the first Arab woman to scale Mount Everest and Saeed Al Maamari, the first Emirati to reach the peak of the mountain.
Also in attendance was Raed Zidan, the first Palestinian to climb Mount Everest, Omar Samra, the first Egyptian to reach its peak, Masoud Mohammed, an Iranian businessman residing in the UAE and a well-known mountaineer in the region, along with a number of adventurers and mountain climbers from inside and outside the UAE and media representatives.
Guests were engrossed in the two-hour film which chronicles the challenges and risks that accompanied the journeys of two brave adventurers, New Zealander Rob Hall and American Scott Fischer, who led two expeditions to Mount Everest in 1996.
Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani said, "The peak of Mount Everest is not only the roof of the world, but is a place where the soul ascends while standing witness to one of the most charming and beautiful natural landmarks. Through this movie screening, we want to remember our fellow adventurers for whom the rugged mountain paths and dangerous tracks did not prevent them from attempting to reach the peak, which only about 4,000 persons have been able to reach throughout history."
He added, "Through this event, I wanted to honour my Arab and foreign friends and colleagues who bravely experienced the toughest adventure in their lives, raised the flags of their countries over Mount Everest, and endured a lot of risks and consequences to affirm their passion for nature. I encourage everyone to go on such adventures, which hone the human character and form various worthy skills such as patience, courage, and determination."
"Everest," which was filmed in Nepal, Italy, and Iceland, was well received by critics after its screening on the opening day of the 72nd Venice Film Festival in Italy on 2nd September, who praised the director's skill and ability to impress the audience through combining superb actors' performances, thrilling scenes, and dramatic events which captivate viewers.
Before the screening in Dubai, the attendees met with friends and fellow adventurers, who expressed happiness over the occasion that allowed them to meet with others who share their passion and enjoy the film premiere in the UAE before its public screening.
Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani raised the flag of the United Arab Emirates over Mount Everest in May 2013. In September 2011, he reached the peak of Montblanc, which is 4,810 meters high. He has twice climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, which stands at 5,895 meters, most recently in March 2010. In December 2012, he reached the peak of Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica with a height of 4,892 meters.