Although not a fan of the limelight,
Hind Al-Awadi finally conceded to let us publish her story, her inspirational
feat of conquering Mount Kilimanjaro. As far as we’re concerned, we weren’t
going to take no for an answer, as we are avid believers
that accomplishment should always be merited with
An art director and filmmaker by day, Hind
loves being behind the camera, putting her wealth of experience in production
to good use. From television commercials to documentary films, she nourishes
this creative career by scheduling trips to far fletched destinations. She
explains, “I love doing new things, traveling, exploring. This year alone,
besides the Kilimanjaro climb; I managed to fit in Vietnam, India, China, Hong
Kong. I can’t get enough, and I even have a trip to the United States and South
America on the agenda.” However, the question begs itself. How does anyone
simply decide to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
A naturally active person,
Hind has always been an outdoors person, yet never a gym buff. When she first
thought about doing the climb, she had to make the gym a part of her routine.
Although she might nonchalantly state that she gathered a bunch of her friends
and decided ‘to go for’ Kilimanjaro, Hind realized that she had to make an
effort to train beforehand. “After living abroad for so long in the 'walking'
cities of London and New York, one becomes accustomed to always being on the
move, and exploring. I don’t have to make an effort to do anything, yet here,
in Kuwait, I realized I've become so immobile!” She also carried around her
huge pack for a few hours each day to accustom herself to how she would spend
eight days trekking the ‘rooftop of Africa’.
Being the only girl amongst four guys, Hind was
even further challenged to make it to the summit. Choosing the Lemosho route,
which gave the team a total of 8 days to get to the summit and back, Hind
recounted that the time allowed her team to bond closely with their guides. She
adds, “We chose Lemosho because we wanted to give ourselves time to acclimatize
to the high altitudes we were going to experience. Even though it was slightly
longer, it was a great time. We even surprised our guide with the fact that we
covered more ground in a shorter amount of time than we had planned.”
Despite the long journey, and even the altitude
sickness Hind experienced, it was all worth it when they finally reached the
Her eyes light up as she
recounts that experience, “The summit was absolutely breathtaking and I
suddenly had a burst of energy that came with the realization that 'this was
happening'. Waking up every morning and not having to think of anything back
home is a cathartic experience. I just have to get from point a to point b,
follow a guide's advice, and take in every moment of it all.”
Today, Hind is currently working with one of
the Kilimanjaro guides on a documentary about the whole experience, which she
would repeat in a heartbeat. After the successful journey, Hind and her
teammates headed down to Zanzibar for some well-deserved R&R. Upon her
return, she decided that she wanted to further her knowledge in mountaineering
and is considering a specialized course in the US that would prepare her to
pursue climbing the seven summits.
What is your
idea of perfect happiness?
A dry aged Peter Luger medium rare porterhouse steak.
What is your
Public speaking and cockroaches. They bite you know.
What is the
trait you most deplore in yourself?
I am a food bully. Do not go to dinner with me if you do
not intend to finish your plate.
What is the
trait you most deplore in others?
Bad driving. THE EMERGENCY LANE IS FOR EMERGENCIES!
person do you most admire?
My parents and husband. Though they were discussing placing
a man3 safar on me during our last family lunch.
What is your
Travel and decadent meals. Also kitsch pet clothing.
or phrases do you most overuse?
“I think I ate too much.”
See answer to first question.
would you most like to have?
I'd love to be a hyperpolyglot, wouldn't mind playing the
you consider your greatest achievement?
Taking a chance on myself. Conquering the roof of Africa is also pretty high up there.
you most like to live?
Besides the obvious beautiful island somewhere, I'd have to
say NYC. My inner hipster can't get enough of it.