Middle East to get its own reality series
Bahraini Hala Zubari, who conquered the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro last year, is serving as the major inspiration behind 17 iron-willed trekkers who will be taking on the same mission. Calling themselves the Kili Elite, the diverse team consists of 15 men and two women between the ages of 16-55 from different nationalities and backgrounds who also aim to scale Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa’s highest free-standing mountain, for a good cause, all while being filmed for a reality series.
“We are adapting the core values of respect, peace and tolerance from the Year of Tolerance as the impetus behind this expedition, seeing that we will need a lot of it to brave through the climb,” says advertising and hospitality entrepreneur Ali Kassam, one of the members of the team. Getting to the summit of Kilimanjaro is not for the faint-hearted. The permanently snow-capped peak towers at a staggering 5,895 metres above sea-level. Getting to the top is the equivalent of scaling the world’s tallest building - the Burj Khalifa - a whopping seven times. However, the collective team spirit and determination transcend the harsh realities of the mission. The group from Dubai is undergoing rigorous training to build their stamina and endurance to tackle the extreme weather conditions, which can defeat even the fittest because of the effects of altitude sickness. They will have to endure daunting conditions like carrying up to 15 kilos of equipment each during their ascent, sleeping under canvas on bare mountain paths for 8 consecutive nights and learning how to adjust mentally and physically to higher altitudes.
Hala, who conquered Africa’s highest peak in a bid to raise funds and awareness for the Bahrain Rescues animal welfare group, shared with Weekender : "I am humbled that Kili Elite has been inspired by my “Climbing because I give a Woof” journey and are now setting off on a journey up the mountain of their own. All the best of luck to the team, you will not regret it!” The perilous expedition following the mountaineers through their epic journey will be preserved as a reality series from Dubai. Their toils and victories will be filmed from start to finish, making it the very first reality series of its kind that will let UAE nationals follow the journey of their fellow residents trekking through the mountains. A part of their mission to give back to the community, the group will head to the Zanzibar upon their descent and visit the Islah Orphanage, taking the children on a picnic and making a donation to the institution. The reality series will be distributed in Bahrain too.
“You can’t give up. Once you do everything else will feel 10x harder. You got to dig deep within yourself and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. You have to be both mentally and physically strong, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That was one of the greatest lessons I learned climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro,” Hala stated.