Jarah al-Hawamdeh, a Palestinian refugee-amputee recently climbed Mount Everest to raise $1 million dollars in funds to save his school, the UNRWA Al-Jofeh Boys School. This comes after the school was placed in risk of closing due to drastic funding cuts to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
Jarah is one of six children born to Palestinian refugee parents in al-Jofeh in Amman, Jordan, as per the UNRWA Newsroom on April 11. His grandparents fled their home in Palestine during the 1948 Palestinian exodus, and their family is still hoping, until today, to someday return to their home in Palestine.
Jarah was afflicted with bone cancer when he was only 15 years old, which led to his right leg being amputated. Despite this, Jarah did not lose hope and still continued to attend school.
After his amputation, the school transferred his class on the first floor just so he didn’t have to go up the stairs on his wheelchair. They also renovated the bathroom so it could accommodate him. This is why he is now on a mission to save his school amidst fears of closure.
Jarah also wanted to show fellow cancer patients like him that hope is never lost. Jarah was quoted as saying, “I wanted to make a strong statement. To be a climber, you need to push yourself a lot. Not everybody can be a mountaineer. Let alone someone with one leg.”
Jarah is expected to reach the base camp of Mount Everest by April 20, but he took to his Twitter account last April 14, announcing that he had already made it.