The Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition 2018
An international team of women from across Europe and the Middle East that skied the last degree to the North Pole in April 2018. The expedition faced many physical challenges like temperatures down to -38°C and shifting pack ice, but the core purpose of the expedition was to foster greater dialogue and understanding between women from Western and Arabian cultures. In addition, the expedition inspired many women to reach beyond the expectation of others to fulfill their own ultimate life ambitions.
The key success of the expedition was the ten fabulous team members. Recruited via an online application process held on this website that was designed to be as open as possible, the team were chosen from the nearly 1000 women that applied to be part of the project. Diverse in age, experience, background, culture, occupation, family and perspective, the intention was to create a truly representative group of women to take on the challenges of the Arctic together.
The team included Misba Khan (a 49-year-old finance manager and chaplain for Manchester in the UK), Mariam Hamidaddin (a 31-year-old community entrepreneur from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia), Ida Olsson (a 33-year-old kayak guide from Sweden with lots of Arctic experience), Lamees Nijem (a 27-year-old graphic designer from Kuwait), Natasa Briski (a 43-year-old journalist from Slovenia), Anisa Al Raissi (a 33-year-old outdoor activity instructor from Oman), Susan Gallon (a 36-year-old marine biologist from France), Asma Al Thani (a 27-year-old Marketing and Communications Director from Qatar), Olga Rumyetseva (a 41-year-old mountain guide from Moscow in Russia) and Stephanie Solomonides (a 36-year-old finance professional from Cyprus and the first Cypriot to ski to the South Pole).
During two years of training and preparation the team completed two expeditions in Iceland and one in Oman. They finally departed for the Arctic Ocean on April 14th 2018 and reached the Geographic North Pole after seven days of skiing on 21st April 2018. The team were accompanied by a three-woman film crew who were looked after by two legendary professional guides; Ann Daniels and Caroline Hamilton. The resulting feature length film ‘Exposure’ is due for release in 2020.
The team also undertook two scientific studies during their ski to the top of the world. Both studies will contribute towards research aiming to make human spaceflight and interstellar exploration possible in the future. One looks at the impact of extreme environments on the body, while the other looks at the consequences on the human mind. The work was completed in conjunction with the University of Strasbourg, the University of Boulder Colorado, Manchester University and others.
You can follow the story of the teams experience on Twitter @northpole2018 and on Facebook via their page 'The Women's Euro Arabian North Pole Expedition'