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  One on one interview with Everest Summiter Zed Al Refai


Zeddy on the Matterhorn

Gillette Middle East and Africa has recently announced its decision to sponsor Zed Al Refai, the first Arab and Kuwaiti to climb Mount Everest, in his upcoming climbing adventure of Mountain Cho Oyo in China.

Gillette, known for its strong support for sports, is sponsoring Zed’s climbing adventure in its aim to attract new Middle Eastern-based fans to the inside story of mountain climbing heroes from this region.  

About Cho Oyo mountain: Located on the border of Tibet and Nepal, 30 Kilometres West of Mount Everest, Cho Oyo’s 8,201 metre summit makes it the sixth highest mountain in the world. Freezing temperatures, a summit at death zone (above 8000 meters), extreme weather conditions such as howling winds and burning sun light, all contribute to making Cho Oyo one of the most challenging mountain climbs in the world.

Timur Edis, Regional Business Manager, Disposable blades and razors, Gillette Middle East and Africa said: ”Gillette believes in encouraging an active lifestyle and has always been a strong supporter for various sports and champions within sports.  Zed is a true global champion in mountain climbing; he is the first Arab and Kuwait to climb Mount Everest and he made history by being the 46th person in history to climb all 7 highest summits in the 7 continents.  He is there a role model for the Middle East and Gillette is very enthusiastic about being involved in his Cho Oyo trip.”

Zed will depart on his journey from Kuwait on August 24th, with five climbers from the rest of the world, and will commence his way up to the summit of Cho Oyo on August 28th. He said: “The Cho Oyo mission is a challenge that requires not necessarily  tremendous physical strengths, but also, the willingness of individuals to test their potential in most extreme conditions.”

-          What is so important about Mountain Climbing?

Mountain climbing is a sport that is practiced in many countries and of which the main goal is to reach the top. It is exciting because you deal with elements that are beyond human reach. You don’t know what to expect next, so it is all about living the moment and finding ones self. Challenging your own abilities rather than challenging the mountain.

-          How do you see the sport in the Middle East and Kuwait?

Recently, the sport has been growing rapidly and that is why I believe this sport holds great potential in this part of the world. The sport is challenging, and I recommend people to start practicing it at an early age. However, my advise would be to start with hiking then move into climbing gradually.

-          Why would you recommend the youth to exercise mountain climbing?

Just like any other sport, it keeps you fit and healthy. You need to have an early start if you want to make it as a professional athlete as it requires specific physical capabilities, and stamina. We have so much free time in this part of the world especially with the amount of luxury we have surrounding us, obesity levels are on the continuous rise, as such, I highly recommend people to start practicing this sport at an early age. Entry level climbing experience would be defiantly Kilimanjaro which will cost approximately 2,000 USD excluding the airline ticket.

-          What are the dangers of mountain climbing?

You encounter danger just by stepping out of your own home, so it is either you cocoon yourself and do nothing with your life, or take the risk, and reach the top. As long as you are prepared and know the weather conditions in advance, you will defiantly limit the chances of risk. There are various dangers that may face us such as, heat and sun strokes or even frost bites. That is why one should be fully prepared before going on a climbing expedition by checking the weather conditions far in advance and descending immediately should the weather worsen. After all, there isn’t a single mountain worth risking your life for.

-          What are the challenges?

They are mainly mental challenges. To get to the top is not an easy task; it requires a certain amount of physical strength backed by strong will.  Every mountain I climbed, I would first stop at its foot for a good hour or so, thinking whether or not I would be able to climb to the top. And many a time I would tell myself that I won’t be able to make it to the top, only to later decide that I will not back down. It’s all in your mind!

-          What is the physical fitness required?

I exercise on the step master for one to three hours daily. The good thing about the stair master is that it exercises the hips and thighs and the calf muscles. In order to build high stamina levels, you have to push yourself to the limit.

Zed’s biography

Who is he: Zed Abdul-Wahab Al Refai was born and raised in Kuwait, then travelled to the US to earn his university degree. He lived in Switzerland, U.K. and the United Arab Emirates. Zed earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science from Stockton State University, New Jersey. Zed lives in the U.K., Switzerland, and UAE.

Zed is a businessman. Types of businesses that he manages include hotel management, finance firms, real estate, coffee distribution and general trading.

His dream: “Gardening is something that I’ve always wanted to do. I do that in my own house during my free time. I plant seeds and watch them grow. It’s soothing and relaxing. I think it’s my bond with nature that shapes my dreams.

Date of birth:   28th of October 1966 

His definition of mountain climbing: Freedom and the ability to surpass your own limits

His highest achievements: The first Arab and Kuwaiti to climb Mount Everest on 22nd May 2003

The Gillette brand supporting Zed’s Cho Oyo climbing adventure.

Gillette Middle East has chosen Gillette Blue II Excel to be the Gillette brand sponsoring Zed Al Refai’s Cho Oyo climbing adventure.  Gillette Blue II Excel is the

new generation of Blue II razors from Gillette and the only disposable razor with two independently spring mounted blades that adjust to the curves and contours of the skin. Gillette Blue II Excel provides the best shave of any Gillette disposable razor in the market. 

Blue II Excel brings the spring mounted blade technology for the first time into the disposables segment, a technology that was first introduced in the Sensor razor, and played an essential role in bringing Gillette to its current leadership in the shaving systems category. Gillette Blue II Excel provides an incredible shave; it is definitely the best Gillette Blue II shave, ever.

The main features of Gillette Blue II Excel are:

×           Two independently spring mounted blades on a pivoting head, allowing the blades to adapt to every contour of your face, delivering a close and smooth shave.

×           The open architecture in the back of the blade cartridge makes it quicker and easier to rinse the blades.

×           The uniquely styled, non-slip ergonomic handle.

×           The advanced lubricating strip contains Aloe and Vitamin E.

 

Millet One Sport Everest Boot Expedition and mountaineering boot for high altitude and extremely cold conditions. The Everest has conquered all 14 mountains over 8,000m and also the Seven Summits- and has now had a makeover to ensure continued peak preformance. With a newer sung, Alpine Fit, and even lighter Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

 

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 






 

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