Two Palestinian amputees make history by climbing Africa's highest peak through Climb of Hope

On January 23, 2014, Yasmeen Najjar and Mutussam Abu Karsh became the first two Arab amputees to reach Africas highest peak, Uhuru, at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, bringing pride and hope to kids all over the Middle East. The two Palestinian teenagers joined a team of PCRF volunteers that made the difficult eight-day climb, hiking through rain, snow, and high altitudes to make history. Led by Suzanne Al Houby of Rahhalah Explorers, the team included Malek Zouki, Yara El Saleh, Maha Nablusi, Nawal Fakhoury, Manal Fakhoury, Rania Barakat, Ibrahim Nasrallah, Yasmeen Najjar, Mutussam Abu Karsh, Samaher Omar, Jasmine and PCRF President & CEO, Steve Sosebee. The goal of the Climb of Hope is to bring awareness and support for the plight of injured and sick Palestinian and Syrian children who are suffering and in great need.


Mutussam Abu Karsh

Both Mutussam and Yasmeen lost their limbs in their childhood and were treated abroad through the support of hundred of volunteers in the PCRF. Mutussam is a 16-year old boy from Gaza that was injured in 2006 by an Israeli tank shell, which led to the amputation of several fingers on his left hand and the amputation of his left leg. In 2007, he was treated through the PCRF at Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles (watch new story) and was later sent by the PCRF to Dubai for a new leg in 2009. Mutussam said his Climb of Hope experience was the first time that I have felt truly free, no walls, no borders, no checkpoints, and soldiers.

Yasmeen Najjar

Yasmeen is a 17-year-old from the West Bank village of Borren, near Nablus. At the age of 4, she was hit by a car and lost her right leg above the knee. The PCRF arranged to send her abroad several times for donated care to Shriners Hospital in Houston, Texas (read article), as well as treatment in Dubai, and Ibn Sina center in Jordan. In 2013, the PCRF purchased a new leg for Yasmeen in Jordan. Yasmeen hopes that their climb helps to inspire other young kids to overcome obstacles. I hope that what Mutssam and I did shows that kids can do anything if given the chance, even climb the highest mountains.
The PCRF would like to thank our kind sponsors, Marmut via Adventure HQ, Keuhne Foundation, Zidan Management Group, SwissLeg, IOM.OIM, MASHLM, MASHOM, and our many generous donors for supporting the Climb of Hope and the efforts of all these brave climbers.

The Palestine Childrens Relief Fund (PCRF) is a non-political, non-profit organization
dedicated to healing the wounds of war, occupation and poverty for children in the Middle East.






- - 08-02-2014