Manal Rostom, Egypt’s most prominent female mountaineer, has achieved many firsts for Arab and Egyptian women, from being the first Hijabi woman to be featured in an international Nike campaign, to being the first Egyptian woman to run the Great Wall Marathon.
Year to date, Manal has reached 5 mountain tops, 2 of which are Kilimanjaro & Elbrus , considered as two of the 7 highest mountains on each continent, and ran 8 full marathons around the world including NYC & China Wall Marathon.
Manal made a shift in her career at the age of 30, she quit her corporate job in a pharmaceutical company to pursue her athletic career. “Growing up as an athlete I thought where do I wanna see the change the most? Then, I saw the NIKE Ads where there were no Muslim or Arab women representations back in 2015, so I felt like we were manipulated into thinking that we have to look a certain way in order to be accepted in the society, and that is wrong!”
In 2015, Manal became the first Hijabi woman to represent NIKE on global platforms. She also created a social media platform to empower Hijabi women with almost half-a-million on her Facebook group “Surviving Hijab.” – “I started the Facebook Group, Surviving Hijab, inviting just friends. But the group exploded after two weeks there are 40,000 members on the group”, Manal mentioned.
In addition to sports, Rostom’s passion is the empowerment of young Arab women. Manal inspires to overcome many challenges in the upcoming years. Her journey is unique and worthy of admiration and attention.
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