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 Africa’s 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 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
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 Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) is a non-political,
dedicated to healing the wounds of war, occupation and poverty for
children in the Middle East.
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