Adventure tale of Lebanese mountaineer inspires and harrows audience at Sharjah International Book Fair

  • Story of Lebanese mountaineer’s climb of Everest and completion of the Seven Summits forms part of fair’s Cultural Activities programme

SHARJAH – A tale of adventure that was both inspiring and harrowing in equal measures was the basis of a panel discussion on the second day of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) on Thursday.

With the title ‘Each one of us has a mountain to climb,’ the presentation was delivered by Maxime Chaya, a Lebanese mountaineer and pursuer of extreme activities.

Chaya, who climbed the Mount Everest in 2006 was at SIBF as part of its Cultural Activities programme to show a video of his ascent. The climb was the final one in his attempt to complete the Seven Summits – the ascent of the highest mountains in each of the seven continents.

Although Chaya’s inspiring story motivated the audience, but the attendees were also apprised about the incident when he passed a dead body on the way to the top and another dying mountaineer on the way down.

Despite the obvious serious risks involved, Chaya expressed that takes part in such activities to both challenge himself and to inspire others to make the most of life.

He has now successfully climbed the world’s highest peaks around the world, has rowed across the Indian Ocean and has trekked to the South Pole and North Pole, the latter taking him a total of 53 days.

Chaya has recorded his mountaineering feats in his book ‘Steep Dreams’ and has also written a comic book to inspire youngsters to live life to the full, which is titled ‘Maximum Max.’

When asked about his philosophy, he quotes the famous Lebanese Gibran Khalil Gibran; “It is when you reach the mountain top that the climb begins.”

Chaya’s presentation was just one in SIBF 2017’s Cultural Activities programme which takes place throughout the duration of the 11-day SIBF 2017, which is themed ‘A World in My Book.’ This year’s edition of the world’s third largest book fair is witnessing the participation of 1,650 publishing houses from 60 countries.

More than 1.5 million titles are on display at the event, which spreads across 14,625 square metres. SIBF 2017 features 393 guests from 48 countries taking part in more than 2,600 events