Mountaineer Akke Rahman has reportedly become the first British Muslim to climb Mount Everest, completing the dream journey he started while observing Ramadan to raise funds for orphans’ shelter.
Almost two weeks after reaching the 8,849-metre summit on the 13th of May, Rahman still feels dazzled by the achievement, which he described as “still not sunk in yet.”
“The beauty is just beyond,” Akke said as he told of seeing some of the world’s tallest mountains from the summit of Everest, The Independent reported.
“You can see Cho Oyu, which is another 8,000m or so, in one of my pictures. Makalu is right next to me. You can see Lhotse. There’s so much to see. You can see into Tibet.
“Oh man, it’s just… I can’t believe it. I was there. I can’t believe I was there. It’s still not sunk in yet.”
As he kicked off the trek in the middle of Ramadan, Rahman was fasting for the nearly two weeks at the beginning of the journey.
“It really, really slowed me down,” he said. “My mouth was so dry you could light a match on it.”
Celebrating Eid without his family was the most difficult part of his journey.
“Leading up to Eid, that was really depressing. For two days I was in my tent and I was like breaking down. At one point I did think, ‘Should I just pack it in?’” he said.
“But I just thought about the reason why I’m here, all the training and everything that I’ve done, all these years they’ve been leading up to this and this is my chance. I kept on going and then I found myself on the top taking pictures.”
Akke managed to raise more than £80,000 for Orphans Shelter Foundation.
“When I got to the summit, I sort of broke down because I had realized my dreams and ambition, and God had made my dreams come true,” he said.
“I broke down but my Sherpa was such a hard guy, he was a tough nut to crack. He just said, ‘Get up, come on, let’s take some pictures – we can’t spend too long here’.
“So he put a stop to all that.”
Earlier this month, Manal Rostom, a Muslim mountaineer and marathon runner, made the achievement by reaching the summit of Mount Everest. Rostom has been planning for this ambition since 2018.
Jarah al-Hawamdeh, a Palestinian refugee, who lost his leg to bone cancer, also made the journey to Everest summit in 2020 to save a cash-strapped UNRWA school.