I met Mostafa Salameh on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, of course I knew him for years before I met him through his many accomplishments. I didn’t know that almost 3 months later, we will meet again and I’ll get an invite for a gala! Yes, a gala. I’ve always wanted to attend one.
But first of all, let’s start from the beginning. Mostafa Salameh is a Palestinian Jordanian man, born in Kuwait and lived most of his life in Scotland, he had a normal life until one day he had a dream that changed his life for the years to come. He dreamt of climbing a mountain and reaching the top, praying. Four months later, he decided to make this dream a reality and his remaining life a challenge and a career.
On Wednesday, February 20, 2013 the Seven Summits Challenge was completed making him the first Jordanian and Arab to ever reach the world’s highest 7 mountains summits.
On April 1, 2014 Mostafa decided to extend his horizons and conquer the North Pole. In between his adventures and achievements, Mostafa opened a new business for people like him called Ibn Battuta Adventure, after one of his favorite famous Arabs personalities, the company is for adventure seekers with thirst for far away places. But I think his greatest achievement must be his initiative “From the Lowest Point to the Highest Point for Cancer”.
Around 2013 Mostafa experienced a moving event that changed him, in meeting young kids suffering from cancer, Mostafa felt a blooming sense of responsibility as a human being and a father himself to do something for these kids. A little boy called Osama Yaseen, passed away without achieving his dream of one day climbing a mountain with Mostafa.
Osama Yaseen was described by all who’ve known him as wiser than his young years. He felt that cancer was like climbing a mountain of pain on a daily basis without choice. This statement is always repeated by Mostafa whenever he talks about his initiative that became one of Jordan’s most important movements to help King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center.
So in 2013, Mostafa collected around 20 people to climb and collect money for cancer from Jordan. The starting point was from Dead Sea, the lowest point to Mount Everest, the highest point in the world and Asia. The expedition was a success. The group reached Base Camp Everest.
So, on Thursday, January 30, 2014 another event took place, the gala! This time for another dream team, consisting of 27 people, some already in the old group, this time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest in Africa.
The best part was that I took part of this huge event, by supporting it through my writing, blog, and social media platforms. I’m glad to be part of such a huge initiative.
The gala as expected was a black tie event, held in one of Mostafa‘s huge sponsors the Landmark Hotel. When I stepped out of my car in my high HIGH heels, I felt my legs shaking a bit. The lobby and parking were filled with cars and gala attendees. The crowd was elegant, fancy and some were even well-known.
I walked from the elevator to the stairway leading to the ballroom and stood waiting for my fur coat to be taken in exchange of a number. As always, I was a bit too colorful. But I can’t help it! I am colorful! Most of the crowd wore black.
I wore a body-hugging fuschia dress under knee-length, with a wide chest and back opening, and a light pink scarf. I made my hair in Emad Bazzi‘s salon and done my makeup myself. All in all, I looked like I came out of a pin-up board or black&white movie.
I was ushered to the social media table which was beside the kitchen in the end of the ballroom and way too far from the stage, which in my opinion didn’t make sense since we are the team that will cover the event. In any case, we moved like bees through the entire event until my poor feet couldn’t take it anymore.
And talking about feet, as I entered, I fell! Yes! I did! I showed the elegant world my clumsy side SO quickly! With a humorous fairy-tale quality, my shoe left my foot and landed elegantly far away. I blushed furiously, and a gentleman that for the life of me I can’t recall his face, helped me and gave me my shoe. I wore it quickly and blushed some more.
But nevertheless, I’m nothing if not daring! I ignored the entire incident and took a tour around the ballroom and said hello to many friends and acquaintances including Mostafa who looked quite elegant in a tux but nervous about his upcoming speech, we chatted a bit and I left to get photographed with my friends.
The event began with a speech after another, from sponsors, dream team members, royals, and cancer survivors, we barely heard them from the back of the room, so we moved and sat around the edges photographing and tweeting. All through, a delicious set of dinner entrée was served, one yummy dish after the other.
I was quite full by the second one. My dress might be beautiful but it was suffocating me! *note to self: lose wight*.
After the intense speeches, entertainment arrived, such as an African band of dancers, salsa dancers, musicians, even an auction! One for a painting, one for jewelry and one for a dress. The guys in our table wished that the auction was for the girl! Shameless!
Anas AlSharif and I had quite a laugh when I pushed him to rise his hand after dancing in the auction and his bid was picked! He almost had a heartache and I couldn’t stop laughing!
Many funny things happened, I think the social media people had a blast… Oh and another cool thing was meeting my doppelgänger Dana Al Basha 2!
In the end, around 12:00, people started leaving, I thanked Mostafa for the invitation and met his parents, then Hadeel Shehadeh, Anas AlSharif, Mostafa and I took a photo. It was cute but I wished we took it in the beginning when I looked more presentable. Nevertheless, great photo!
The waiting for a car in blistered feet in killer heels was another thing all together: not great my friends! A nightmare! It was cold, 300 attendees were waiting for their cars. 45 minutes later mine arrived!
But all in all, without the heels, the event was so glamorous and beautiful! I simply can’t wait for the next mountain climbing gala! I think I climbed mountains with those heels that night! Just saying! But to my information, the group is planning to go to the TOP of Everest in 2020 as a final expedition.