One-legged Palestinian refugee to climb Mount Everest

Jarah al-Hawamdeh has already climbed halfway to summit in hopes of saving cash-strapped school

By Mustafa Deveci

JERUSALEM (AA) - Jarah al-Hawamdeh, a Palestinian refugee in Jordan who lost one of his legs to cancer, has vowed to reach the summit of Mount Everest in hopes of saving his cash-strapped school.

Al-Hawamdeh, 22, who has lost one of his legs to bone cancer, is climbing the world’s tallest mountain to raise funding for the school that gave him an education.

Located in Jordan, the Al-Jufe School is run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), which is currently facing severe budget shortfalls.

Al-Hawamdeh says his campaign is aimed at raising funding for the school, which is currently providing education to some 750 Palestinian refugees.

On crutches, al-Hawamdeh has already begun climbing the mountain, which is located near the Nepalese-Chinese border and reaches an altitude of 8,848 meters.

He has already climbed some 5,100 meters and hopes to soon reach the base camp located at the summit.

- ‘Anything’s possible’

“Palestinian refugees have the right to realize their dreams,” al-Hawamdeh told Anadolu Agency. “With this climb, I will prove that anything’s possible.”

“By raising awareness, I hope to eventually raise $1 million for the school that gave me my education,” he said.

Al-Hawamdeh, who grew up in a refugee camp in Jordanian capital Amman, is Palestine’s first licensed mountaineer with an artificial limb.

Last year, al-Hawamdeh climbed Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about cancer victims.

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