Our Rahhalahs Team
let us introduce ourselves
SuzanneFounder, Adventure Travel & Mountaineering Expert
Suzanne Al Houby is best known for becoming the first Arab Woman to climb Mt. Everest & the seven summits.
Initiatives she pursued that can be described as daring and innovative had one thing in common: She was told that she couldn’t do it. She did and that is what Suzanne Al Houby is all about.
Her favorite quote is “it is easy to be inspired, but it is not so easy to act.”
Besides holding many records on the mountains, Suzanne also helped many to break new records. When Suzanne isn’t busy globetrotting or climbing mountains, she is actively involved in both local and international charities, inspiring youth and future adventures, and training for her next adventure.
She visited more than 100 destinations worldwide, carried a backpack half her weight, and camped in extreme conditions. Therefore, she developed a sense of what to look for in an adventure and decided to put this in Rahhalah Explorers, her dream project: an adventure travel company. It is all about integrity according to Suzanne, “It is never about greed, fame or even the summit, it is about doing the right thing in a world that has a significant number of people losing sight of what is important.” In her business, she runs the only company that has a payback promise in the region.
- Ranked as number 16 in the 100 most powerful Arab women 2012
- Ranked as number 198 in the 500 most powerful Arabs 2012
- Winner of GR8 women awards 2013 – sports and achievements
- Ranked as number 63 in Forbes Middle East most powerful Arab Women 2014 list
- Winner of Global Adventure Icon in Asia Adventure summit 2018
ZedPartner, Unique Destinations & Mountaineering Expert
Zed Alrefai, aka The Godfather of Arab Mountaineers, is one of the leading figures and role models for Arabs in the climbing community. He is a man of many talents but his main passion has always been mountain climbing.
His journey to the top was not an easy one. A near death experience on Everest in 2001 didn’t deter him and his triumphant return in 2003 resulted in him making history as the First Arab man to climb Everest. His determination didn’t end there, he continued to acquire the titles for the first Arab to climb the seven summits (highest mountain on each of the seven continents).
Zed’s favorite quote is:” Push yourself beyond what you believe your limit is” and his long list of achievements are a reflection of this.
In 2012, Zed was chosen to be one of the nine regional Olympic torchbearers and experienced the once in a lifetime opportunity to carry the Olympic flame in the London 2012 Olympic torch relay in the UK.
He was also a part of the First Gulf Extreme team that completed the Marathon Des Sables and he is the founder of AMAC (Arabian Mountaineering and Alpine Climbing Club). Zed is an honorary member of the Pakistan Alpine Club due to his climbing and humanitarian work in Pakistan.
And lastly, Zed is also a published author. His book, Summit Glory, is a personal account of his climbing journey and his story is now taught in schools across Kuwait.
Zed has personally mentored and motivated many Middle Eastern athletes and adventurers in many expeditions across Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.
SamerManaging Partner, Adventure Travel & Extreme Sports Expert
"Life has no limits, follow your heart and the rest will follow..... "
Samer is our Mountain training expert and is a personal coach. He has traveled the world seeking different adventures and challenges. Along with the many Mountains & summits, he has climbed he is also an Ultra Marathoner and Ultra triathlete.
He holds a number of Coaching Certifications from the following organizations:
- American Council of Exercise Personal Trainer
- American Council of Exercise Strength & Conditioning Expert
- USA Triathlon Coach
- RRCA Running Coach
- US Masters Swim Coach
- USA Youth Soccer Coach
- English FA Coach level 2 coach
Part of his accomplishments: Marathon Des Sables 240km, Ironman, North Face 100km Run, Kilimanjaro, Everest base camp, Elbrus, Aconcagua more than 40 marathons, ultramarathons, triathlons and adventure races.
MoeInspirational Adventures Team Leader
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani or MOE as he is popularly known, is an entrepreneur, mountaineer, philanthropist, photographer, sportsman and co-founder of UAE-based travel portal Musafir.com. His passion for mountains originated while he was rafting in Nepal, a glimpse of the Himalayan mountains inspired his venture into mountain climbing and his mission to push his limits by scaling the Seven Highest Summits of the Seven Continents of the World.
In 2011, Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani summited Mont Blanc and in 2012, his adventurous mission continued- he scaled Europe’s Mount Elbrus, summited Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko and climbed to the top of Mount Vinson, the highest peak of Antarctica. In January 2013, he scaled the fifth summit of South America, Mount Aconcagua, and on the 25th of May 2013, Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani accomplished his dream and became the first Qatari to climb Mt. Everest. More adventures followed in 2015, including trekking to the South Pole, and finishing off the 7th summit, Mt. Denali in North America.
Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani is also a successful entrepreneur whose portfolio includes Air Arabia and Musafir.com, among others. He is also actively involved in raising awareness for various causes and charities around the world. He is the appointed ambassador of ROTA reach Out To Asia. A charity with a mission to provide education opportunity for all.
Besides our shared passion for climbing and adventure, Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani shares our commitment to sustainability and we are proud to have him as a Rahhalah brand ambassador.
StaniAdventure Destinations & Customised Tours Expert
Stani is a key member of the Rahhalah team.
She is our point of contact between travelers, our various Rahhalah guides all over the world, as well as the rest of our team. Stani is responsible for our impeccable customer service standards and ensures all operations in the office and on our adventure trips are running smoothly. She has a background in the hotel and travel industry, and passionate about adventure, nature, and traveling.
KonstantinaHiking Expert & Travel Writer
Konstantina is the Chief Initiator of the Transformational Journeys. Having traveled the transformational journey herself, she brings her new knowing, her constant thirst for further discovery and her love for the unknown, into every trail.
Konstantina has a 20-year corporate experience. She has acquired several executive positions and she been involved in entrepreneurial initiatives as well. She has worked extensively in the professional services sector, with emphasis on human talent, while she also has experience in the banking and the governmental sectors. She has been involved in projects on life-long learning and informal education, on youth development and on international business expansion.
In 2013, and after her hike on Mount Kilimanjaro, she decided to take a one-year sabbatical leave in order to explore the path of self-discovery. Her cycle of 7 adventures that fell on her own trail of the Hero’s Journey is described in her book “The Unusual Journeys of a Girl Like Any Other”.
Ever since, she continues to hike, to write and to explore, determined to live a life of consciousness and creativity.
HarshitaAdventure Destinations & Customised Tours Expert
Caterinasocial media adventurer
Caterina is the owner of Sixty Social Seconds Social Media Marketing Agency.
Over the past 7 years, she has created over 300 Social Media Strategies for brands that have thrived in the online world and has been hailed as one of the 7 most creative Social Media Marketers in the world by the "CreativeRoom4Thinking" magazine.
She is the Author of "100 extraordinary Instagram Grids to get totally inspired by" ebook, the ultimate Instagram branding & design guide counting over 45.000 downloads within the first 3 months of its publication.
She is the Founder of DubaiLoving, Dubai's biggest city blog with over 65.000 Instagram followers.
She's a Social Media Marketing coach, holding seminars for Instagram & LinkedIn Marketing and has trained over 300 individuals around the world on Social Media Marketing.
Having a background in various industries including fashion & luxury brand management, styling and PR, Caterina brings a wealth of knowledge in the digital space.
She has traveled to over 30 countries and she's planning to double this number by her 35th birthday! Yes, she has found the right people for this. 🙂
NoraInspirational Adventures Team Leader
Nora Al-Ruwaished is an avid humanitarian, born and raised in California, but who grew to have a passion for making change in Kuwait and the world. Her previous work revolves around sustainable development, environmental projects, disaster relief efforts and youth empowerment, all of which were accomplished through travel and adventure.
She was initially inspired during her time working with Loyac as a Media Manager, where she was sent to India and Kenya for building projects with likeminded individuals. While some dreaded village life, she thrived in it, and was inspired in a way she had never been before. When she noticed the change it made within her, she wanted to create more platforms for individual’s to experience the world and all of its beauty, while mindfully giving back to the far less fortunate communities they visited.
Nora wanted people to recognize that monetary value is not the only thing that can bring happiness, and she wanted them to have a chance to rewire their brain to be more cautious of their ecological footprint, to recognize what they could do to give back to the world and the humans we share it with, and to inevitability influence others around them to do the same. She has a thirst for adventure, exploring new worlds, is quite comfortably lost, yet feels at home anywhere in the world.
RaedHead Guide Jordan
After loosing the opportunity to get my engineering degree in Ukraine.the only thing that I found myself in is the passion knowing... and what is better than knowing your root and history.
So it became my mission to be the one who can deliver this amazing history and adventures with the best way possible.. you may let me show you the beautiness of Jordan through my eyes.
Rania Barakat is a graduate of Finance and Banking, with work experience in Human resources and development. However, Rania always followed her heart to the calling of many NGOs from helping children with medical needs in war zone areas to fundraising and climbing for cancer, to rolling up her sleeves and working in the field supporting women’s livelihood in rural areas.
Rania is an avid adventurer, an enthusiastic fitness freak and an H.O.G. member of Harley Davidson Group, a committed Lady Rider where she describes her long road bike rides in Jordan as Liberating.
Rania joins Rahhalah with so many creative and innovative ideas about adventures in Jordan and beyond. She enjoys horseback riding, skydiving, hiking, and climbing. Through her eyes, we are exploring off the beaten track itineraries that we are so excited to share with all our adventures. A cancer survivor, Rania still describes raising her 3 children to be the biggest and most rewarding challenge amongst her many other challenges.
Our Brand Ambassadors
Rabaa Al Hajeri is a sports fanatic with a thirst for adventure; she first got into adventure travel in 2010 after summiting Kilimanjaro. She caught the adventure bug and has been climbing mountains ever since, she’s on a quest to complete the 7 summits.
She's the Head of Communications at LOYAC a youth empowerment Organisation, Co. founder of the 3 club the first triathlon club in Kuwait and is one of the managing partners of Eightypercent.co a socially driven sports management firm based in Kuwait. She’s a true believer in the power of sports on the human condition and aims to elevate her community and empower those around her to test their limits and challenge the status quo.
Ameena is an outdoors enthusiast, who is passionate about traveling and discovering different cultures as well as meeting new people. Ameena is known to being dynamic, sociable and positive.
She likes to do different sports,has been playing basketball for many years. She finds pleasure in horse back riding and has been enjoying hiking in the mountains. She likes to take part in runs and has recently done her 21km for the second time.
She has hiked in France and Oman, went to Thailand for a kayak expedition for her Duke of Edinburgh gold award, has done Everest Base camp, Nepal, with Rahhalah.
She also went on volunteer trips to India and Kenya and is part of the @Jedareyat volunteer team in Kuwait. She is a member of the @361.world magazine team, a platform for travelers to share their travel experiences through the magazine.
Ameena likes to try new activities and learn new things. One of her favorite quotes she kept mentioning in her EBC trip is "Il faut se perdre pour se trouver", meaning "one should get lost to find himself". She says that going on these trips and hiking in such majestic mountains helps her experience her inner peace. These expeditions have shaped the person she is today and she has mentioned that she is lucky to have travelled with great adventurers like Zeddy Al Refai, the fist arab to have summited Mount Everest.
To many more adventures and wonderful experiences!
Manal Rostom aka Egypt's most prominent marathoner & female mountaineer, is someone who has achieved many firsts for Arab & Egyptian women.
Manal is the first Hijabi woman to model in a Nike Running Campaign & First Arab to be featured in an Audio Guided Run on the Global Nike Run Club App.
Manal also became the Global face of the Nike Pro Hijab in March 2017.
Manal recently led an all – women Everest Base Camp trip to raise awareness about tolerance , inclusivity & equality for all women in partnership with Facebook & Rahhalah.
Manal is the first Egyptian woman to run the Great wall of China Marathon in May 2016 & first Egyptian woman to summit Mont Blanc in The Alps last September 2018.
Manal has climbed a total of 7 mountains, 2 of which are Kilimanjaro & Elbrus , considered as 2 out of the 7 highest mountains in every continent.
The 5 other mountains are Mt St Catherine in Egypt, Jabal Shams in Oman , Mt Toubkal in Morocco , Mt Kenya in Kenya & Mont Blanc in France( First Egyptian Woman to Summit Mont Blanc).
Manal has run 11 marathons, 3 of which are NYC , Berlin & Chicago Marathon - considered as World’s Major Marathons. Manal has also run Kuwait , Muscat , Dubai ( twice) , Cairo , Luxor , Great Wall of China & Wadi Bih ( in Oman) Marathons.
Manal dreams to become the first Egyptian woman to complete the 7 summits ( 7 highest mountains in every continent) and first Egyptian to run the 6 Major Marathons around the world.
Manal currently lives in Dubai , UAE , and after quitting her job as a pharmacist , she is now a full time Personal Trainer & Fitness Instructor as well as Nike’s Run Club Coach.
'Fortune favours the bold' is the motto that this modern day Ibn Battuta swears by. His wildly different experiences of visiting remote countries, climbing demanding mountains and diving in exotic locations have left an everlasting and mesmerising impression on his perspective of the world and continue to feed his desire to explore and learn more about our planet.
Balancing a successful but fast paced career in the London property market working for the Berkeley Group, with his passion for adventure; Fahd has seemingly embraced the jet set lifestyle.
Over the past 5 years with Rahhalah, he has reached the peaks of Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Khuiten (Mongolia), Toubkal, Ararat, Damavand, Cotopaxi, Cayambe, and Tajumulco; dived in the Galapagos, Belize, Philippines and Iceland; and has trekked in countries as far as Bhutan and Peru. 50 countries and 4 passports later, Fahd is still always looking onwards and ahead to the next adventure.
Fahd also dedicates a lot of time to charity, raising awareness for various causes through his expeditions. He was presented with the 'Outstanding Contribution to the Berkeley Foundation' Award earlier this year, for his efforts raising £5,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Trials Collaboration Charity, whist attempting to complete the Triple Crown Challenge in Ecuador.
There's a lot left on his list but Fahd does not waste time planning the next escapade - he's already got a 4 year plan!
Our Expert Mountain Guides
Tendi Sherpa was born in the village of Khembalung, a mountainous region of Sankhuwasabha District of Nepal in 1983. Following the footsteps of his mountaineer father, he started his trekking and mountaineering career when he was just 13 years. In 23 years’ time, his juvenile involvement in the field turned into his passion, profession and achievement. Now, he is an IFMGA/UIAGM Certified Mountain Guide with 11 successful summits of Mt. Everest and years of mountaineering and trekking experiences in the Himalaya, besides Everest, Tendi climbed Ama Dablam, Lohtse, Cho Oyo and many more. He also climbed in Europe (Alps), South America (Andes) and China. In addition, he is also a high altitude rescue professional.
Tendi’s calmness can be deceiving as it covers unmatched strength, knowledge, bravery and wisdom. is very keen on sharing his Himalayan culture and magnificent mountaineering and trekking experiences with all. He also loves to serve the deprived communities in Nepal. He is involved in different social organizations in Nepal. Currently, he is the treasurer of “Nepali ko Sathi,” a Swiss funded NGO for supporting education, health and other developmental activities in the remote villages of Nepal. He is also a dedicated member of Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA).
YassinKilimanjaro - Tanzania
Highest mountain in Africa and one of the 7 summits
Yassin Abbas is one of our Kilimanjaro best Trip Leaders. Born under the Pare Mountains, he has led over 100 successful Kilimanjaro ascents since 2004. An avid naturalist fluent in English, Kiswahili and French, he is an excels in leadership and carries deep love for Kilimanjaro. Yassin is a certified Wilderness First Responder and CPR Emergency Cardiac Care Provider. He also attended a leadership-training course with NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) in Arusha. Yassin is an exceptional guide and will be a great asset to your climb.
Born in Gudel-4, Solukhumbu, Tendi Sherpa is a veteran Mountain Guide and Climbing Instructor. He started his professional mountaineering by climbing Mera Peak (6472m) in 2000. And the rest is history! Till now, he has climbed more than 100 mountains including Mt. Everest, other Himalayan giants, and French and Italian peaks.
He started his professional Instructor career in 2006. Since then, he has been working as a Chief Instructor of internationally recognized climbing courses including BMC, AMC and Aspirant Guide Course in Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). He also worked as a Technical Personnel in Nepal National Mountain Guides’ Association (NNMGA) from 2009 to 2012. During this time, he collaborated with Swiss and French Mountain Guide Association, and led an official interaction program to share the climbing culture among different mountaineering communities. He has led numerous successful Expeditions including “Nepali and French Women Amadablam Expedition 2011”, “First Albanian National Expedition 2012 (100% success)” to name a few. Apart from mountaineering, he is also a Mountain Biking Guide with numbers of international experiences in Tibet, Germany, Austria and Italy. He has travelled extensively in different countries including Tibet, China, Germany, Italy, Austria, USA, France, Swiss, Thailand etc in the course of climbing, instructing and biking. In addition, he is also a rescue specialist with significant involvements in Search and Rescue Missions like Ghunsa Helicopter Tragedy (2006), Everest Expedition Rescue (2007), Korean Expedition Manaslu Rescue (2009), French Expedition Manaslu Rescue (2013) etc.
LizaMt. Elbrus - Russia
Highest mountain in Europe and one of the 7 summits
Liza was born in Munich, Germany and raised in the Bavarian mountains. After finishing her studies of Slavistics and Japanese with a master’s degree at the university of Munich, she moved to the Russian Caucasus in 1996 after she fell in love with this mountain range as a skier and a climber.
Liza participated in most Russian free ride competitions and was Russian snowboard champion 2006 and 2009. She has also competed in international competitions in Austria, France, Switzerland and the United States. Still holding a German passport, she is taking part in most contests as a Russian rider. Participated in «Verbier Xtreme» in Switzerland 2007 and 2008.
Liza works as ski and snowboard instructor as well as a mountain guide. She has guided Elbrus more then 100 times and is certainly holding the record for climbing Elbrus among foreigners, though there are some Russians who have climbed more often. She was the first mountain rescuer with a trained avalanche dog at the Elbrus rescue team. Has experience as heli-guide in Elbrus area and Kamchatka. Speaks Russian, German, English, French, Japanese and Arabic, and worked as interpreter for technical and commercial English and Russian.
Even though she seems busy all the time, she will always find time for her language studies, some yoga exercises or long hikes in the wilderness of the surrounding mountains, working out new interesting routes.