TEL US WHO WE ARE BLOG - Fahd The Explorer

TEL US WHO WE ARE BLOG - Fahd The Explorer

Welcome to our "TELL US WHO WE ARE BLOG"

We have always had the vision that this brand is all of ours. Not only the team at the office but also all of you supporting us.

Our aim with this blog series is to make whatever we can do to let all of us get to know more about the great people connected, in any way, with the brand PWBFREE.

This time we sat down with a person that really impresses and inspire us. Fahd has travelled around the world for different very challenging expeditions where he always keep standing for Palestine. Check this out to learn a bit more about him.

Hi Fahd! First of all tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Hi! My name Is Fahd Abu Aisha. I’m 32 and currently living and working in Dubai.

I head up the Middle East and Africa office (based in Dubai) for one of London’s leading residential developers, where we showcase and sell our homes to clients across the region.


How are you connected to Palestine? What opened your eyes to take a stand for the Palestinian cause?

My father is Palestinian. I was born and raised in Cairo (my mother is Egyptian). I have never had the opportunity to visit Palestine and it was as I was growing up that I began to understand the reasons why we were not able to go there. I took a much more thorough interest in my history lessons in school and read numerous books and watched multiple documentaries on Palestine from its origin to the present day. It spurred me to apply for a degree to pursue a career in international relations. However, my father implored me to focus on a more lucrative career path to ensure my (future) family and I were comfortable. Such is the depressing story of many of the older generation of Palestinians who were left with no choice but to leave their homes and businesses behind in order to strive for a better future to provide for their families without having the opportunities to pursue their passions. Although I conformed to the more conventional business career, I do what I can within my power to ensure that the plight of Palestinians is not forgotten, ignored and will not go away.


You are mentioning you “do what you can within your power” to fight for Palestine. Could you tell us more about what you do and what you think others can do?

The emergence of social media over the past decade as a platform to vocalize opinions to a global audience has significantly changed the way judgments and perceptions have been molded. The mainstream media (in particular the Western media) no longer have the iron grip on shaping narratives as they did maybe even a decade ago. People all over the world can just go online on social media and report live and from the ground. And I have seen this evolve in real time. From the coverage of the invasion of the south of Lebanon in 2006, to the Gaza offensive in 2014 and last year in the West Bank and Gaza, more and more people around the world are becoming aware of the current situation, that has only progressively deteriorated over the past few decades for Palestinians. But I am already witnessing a change in the narrative shifting and being talked more openly. Social media has amplified the Palestinian voice and I will continue to be loud about it as well. I also support brands that back the Palestinian cause. Any customer will always show a strong affinity to a brand that is in line with their values and I will always champion brands that promote and spread awareness on Palestine; like yourselves!


We have seen you are a true adventurer, what’s that all about?

I always loved travelling as a child, seeing the world and exploring new places. My mother always encouraged me to be worldly and to take on challenges. I got my first real taste of the ‘great outdoors’ in my senior school years while working to attain the ‘Duke of Edinburgh Award’. I climbed Mt Sinai and hiked in the various wadis (valleys) in Sinai and the Eastern desert. When I graduated from university and moved to Dubai to work, I yearned for an adventure and to challenge myself outside of the office. A quick Google search introduced me to a Dubai-based adventure specialist company called ‘Rahhalah,’ which was founded - and is still run - by the first Arab (also Palestinian) woman to summit Everest and the Seven Summits; Suzanne Al Houby. I signed up to climb the highest mountain in Africa; Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in August 2014. On that climb, I also raised money for the London-based charity ‘Medical Aid for Palestinians’ at the height of the offensive in Gaza.

It’s difficult to explain to someone who has never been mountaineering why I enjoy it, but it’s the experience of the journey and feeling of accomplishment and invincibility once you reach the summit that keeps me hooked and searching for the next high or rush. I feel at peace in the mountains in a spiritual sense, being at one with nature but there is also an indescribable feeling of fulfilment as well.


I always say my latest expedition is the most exciting because every time I travel to a different country, it is a new and uncertain experience. Climbing Kilimanjaro will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first proper mountaineering expedition that I embarked on. But it will be difficult to forget climbing Mt. Sidley, the highest volcano in Antarctica, in one of the most remote and coldest places on this planet. All my adventures have their unique challenges like their terrain and altitude but Sidley for me was without a doubt the most brutal experience because of its harsh environment.  Antarctica is beautiful; a white desert that gives you a sensation that you’re no longer on Earth, but it is very harsh and cold. And when I say cold, I mean freezing. Antarctica is one of the driest places on earth, and so due to the extraordinarily low temperatures, when the wind blows it literally burns your skin. I had to constantly be on my guard to make sure everything in my body was moving the way it was supposed to, and that was exhausting and anxiety inducing. Luckily our summit day was a warm -10°C so the push up to the top was relatively comfortable.

Would I do it again though? Probably not.

Haha! Is there any expedition you would consider doing again?

If there was one expedition I would do again it would probably be summiting the highest volcano in the world; ‘Ojos Del Salado’ in Chile. We camped at some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, the food was delicious and my guide and driver/chef were awesome people. I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve never regretted going on any expeditions. There have been mountains where I have had to turn back even when I was just an hour away from summitting, and there have been expeditions where things could have gone very wrong (I fell into 3x crevasses on a glacier in Mongolia) but it’s all part of the journey of life and I try to make the most of it given the fortunate opportunities I have been afforded in life by my circumstances.


If you met someone wanting you to describe Palestine and palestinians what would you tell that person?

If I met someone who wanted me to describe Palestine and Palestinians to them I would sum it up in one word: Resilience. We are a resilient people who want what every human being on Earth wants, and that is to live with dignity, a roof over our heads, provide for our families and allow our children to have the opportunity to grow up in peace and thrive. The Palestinian diaspora is one of the most hardworking and successful contributors to the global society. I’ll use Chile as an example, being one of the more recent places I have travelled to. Over there is a thriving Palestinian population with some of the most successful businesses and businessmen being Palestinian. The country even has a football team called ‘Club Deportiva Palestino’ competing in their Premier League; such is the positive effect that Palestinians have had on the Chilean population.  Palestinians are resilient and relentless, and they will never stop telling you they are Palestinian. We are similar to vegans in that regard.


I have not been to Palestine yet so I would not be able to describe the feeling and sensation on being on my ancestors’ land until after I’ve visited, but I have a major bucket list of things to do and places I want to see, that I hope I will be able to tick off in my lifetime. At the top of my list would be to visit and pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock because of its historical and religious significance. And I also hope to one day complete the full 330km hike of the Palestinian Heritage Trail, because 1. I love adventures but 2. Because I will be able to absorb and fully appreciate how special the land truly is.


Even though you haven’t been in Palestine is there anything you would tell people they must do/try when in Palestine?

I can’t eat the most famous Palestinian dishes because I’m a Seagan which is a pescatarian that doesn’t eat dairy or eggs; so, dishes like ‘maqluba’ and ‘musakhan’ won’t work for me (although my foreign friends rave on about how delicious they are). Besides, there is nothing in this world -and I have travelled and eaten in many places - that tastes better than the Egyptian dish ‘molokheya’ (I am half-Egyptian remember J). I’m a very particular person when it comes to food so I’m probably not the best person to ask about food recommendations.


Which product of ours are your favorite so far and do you have any feedback to us?

I love the ‘Horreya’ sweatshirt, although it is a little too hot to wear it at any time in the year in Dubai. It’s simple but the message is powerful and the design and fit are awesome.

I love all your designs but I dress quite simply most of the time (usually a plain white-shirt/sweatshirt and jeans) so any white t-shirt with a city’s name or quotes from famous Palestinian artists, creatives and intellectuals who left a lasting legacy like Mahmoud Darwish and his poems or Edward Said would be quite cool.


Fahd, Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us more about you!


Stay tuned for the next blog post to get to know more of another PWBFREE teamplayer.

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