Not to toot our own horn but Lebanese people often find ways to break records and challenge biases. Well, young Lebanese architect Ramona Khalifeh just proved she isn't one to be underestimated or taken lightly.
Hailing from the Southern Lebanese coastal city of Ghazieh, Ramona decided to prove that neither her gender nor her hijab could ever be a barrier to achieving her dreams.
The LAU graduate has always been outdoorsy; camping and hiking in each of Lebanon's scenic mountain routes.
She takes pride in accomplishing daring feats that people don't usually associate with women. While mentalities surrounding women and traditional gender roles are taking a turn for the better, oppressive stereotypes still exist in many Lebanese communities.
Realizing she isn't still achieving her full potential, Ramona threw her lot in for a chance to participate in SurvivingHijab's project of taking a handful of women to Nepal.
SurvivingHijab is a multinational organization aimed at empowering hijab-wearing women and breaking the stereotypes involving them.
Impressively enough, Ramona's athleticism and activism won her a spot on the once-in-a-lifetime deal, and she stepped on to a 14-day journey to Mount Everest, becoming in the process the first hijab-wearing Lebanese to do so.
At 5,363 meters, the base camp is a stepping-ledge to a short hike to the top of nearby Kalapathar (5,555 m) where unrivaled 360 views of Mount Everest and the surrounding Himalayas can be seen.
An avid climber and athlete, Ramona had also climbed Qornet al Sawda, Lebanon's highest peak, and several other mountains in the area.
Ramona is one of a formidable group of Lebanese to attempt the challenge: Maxim Chaaya and Ara Khatchadourian who both actually reached the peak, and Joyce Azzam who is attempting the arduous climb this April.