First British Muslim reaches Everest summit – and saves the life of another climber

The first British Muslim completed the epic 21-day task of climbing the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. And what’s more impressive is that he helped save the life of a fellow mountaineer along the way.

Akke Rahman, 39, reached the summit of the 8,849 metre peak in the early hours of Friday 13 May. While climbing back down, Rahman and his team came to the aid of another mountaineer who was running out of oxygen.  

“He was from a different group but we got to know him.  He ran out of oxygen at 7,800 metres but we had to stick together,” said Rahman.  

“I just said to the guys we have to share the oxygen I don’t care how we get down. We did radio the Sherpas to get some oxygen, but they didn’t get back to us.  One of my teammates suggested we give the climber some of our oxygen and bring him down safely.  I wasn’t going to leave him behind.  We brought him down safely.”

Once the hiker was safe and Rahman had returned to the base of the mountain, he was able to process his achievement: “I just couldn’t believe that I successfully reached the top of the world. It was so difficult, I was exhausted, but I knew I had to complete the mission.  

“The weather was extremely cold, windy and rough.  You cannot predict what will happen in a split second.  For about three days while I was climbing to the summit, I was living off a couple of snicker bars a day.”

Supporting refugees

Farhan Masud Khan, the manager of Rahman’s ‘Peak Humanity’ campaign, said: “He has made us all proud, but most importantly his sacrifice will benefit those who need our support now, including refugees from Ukraine and other countries.”

Prior to climbing Mount Everest, Rahman set a UK record after climbing Mount Elbrus – Europe’s highest peak which stands 5,642 metres above sea level within 24 hours, and only five days after recovering from coronavirus.

He also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Blanc, the highest mountains of Africa and the Alps respectively. He later completed Mount Amadablam, one of the highest mountains in the Himalayas.

The British-Bengali’s passion for climbing and a desire to support those in need meant that he completed all the expeditions within one year.  

The father of three explained: “We are living in challenging times.  We thought Covid-19 was difficult, now look at the terrible situation in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Burma and other countries. When I see mothers struggling to feed their children, and kids rolling around hungry, it really impacts me to my core.  They are crying out for help.  I need to do something to help them.”

Rahman lives with his children and wife Hena, she stated: “I’m extremely proud of what Akke is doing in order to support vulnerable refugees, women and children.  All I want is his safe return. That is the most important matter.”  

His supporters have already raised £90,000 for charity.

Article written by blogger and writer Mohammed Khan

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