An intrepid team of 11 women, including Lamees Nijem of Kuwait, are set to launch a daring adventure to ski over 100km in treacherous conditions to reach the North Pole.
KUWAIT: Lamees is part of the Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition 2018, spending 10 days on the shifting ice of the Arctic Ocean to reach the top of the world. The 28-year-old is a designer who specialises in creating digital animations but is someone who thrives on challenges and new adventures.
“A mediocre route paved with familiarity never interests me,” she said. “It is the beauty of exploration and encountering the unknown that keeps me alive. I enjoy the process of adapting and living in the wilderness.
Explaining why she wanted to be a part of the expedition, Lamees said: “I want to be a part of a mixed cultural journey. We might all come from different parts of the world, but we all have the same instinct. We all want to challenge ourselves to ski to the North Pole, and to be a part of nature.
“Unity and sticking together as human beings is a very crucial act that we need nowadays and I am honored to represent my country and my culture on this expedition.”
The North Pole expedition aims to foster greater dialogue and understanding between women from Western and Arabian cultures.
“We want to send a strong and positive message about gender equality and the need for greater cultural understanding,” said expedition leader, Felicity Aston MBE, from the UK. “The world is facing global problems – such as climate change – that can only be tackled with global solutions. That requires everyone talking to each other more.”
In 2012, Aston became the first person in the world to ski across Antarctica alone and without the aid of kites, machines or dogs – a journey of 1,744km that took her 59 days to complete.
The Euro-Arabian team will be sleeping in tents on the ice when they are not skiing, and will haul in sledges everything they need to survive in the Arctic. As well as the perils of temperatures as low as -40C, other hazards the team will face include movements of the pack ice that may split apart to reveal open water or push together to form walls of ice that have to be crossed. There is also the threat of polar bears.
The team will next week head to the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard from where they will fly to the floating ice station known as ‘Barneo’. They will start their ski journey across the Arctic ice to the North Pole from the station. Preparations for the expedition have been ongoing for nearly two years including training expeditions in Iceland and Oman.
The team will be conducting two important science experiments during the expedition and will be sharing their experiences live from the ice with schools and via social media. Updates will be posted on www.euroarabianexpedition.com.
The expedition is sponsored by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, as well as Engie, Poseidon Expeditions, OmanTel and I Feel Slovenia.