Omani, British women adventurers share experiences of resilience

October 23, 2018

As part of the ongoing Omani Women’s Day celebrations and in line with enhancing Omani-British relations, two polar adventurers, Anisa al Raisi and Natalie Taylor shared their experiences with top government officials, military personnel, business leaders and members of the public on Monday. 

The lecture titled ‘Two Women, Two Poles and Two Cultures’ was held at the Ministry of Defence Pension Fund, under the auspices of H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health. Anisa is the first Omani to reach the Geographic North Pole and Natalie is a British army doctor, who was in the team that went to the South Pole.

Both the adventurers shared their tips on what they learnt in order to succeed. “In order to succeed, you must dare to fail and it takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan because focus is much needed on the goal than the obstacle,” Anisa said. Natalie spoke about motivation and discipline. “Knowledge is power but a good communication is king. We should always ask and never assume. Motivation comes along with discipline even if you are going through hell.”

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Anisa said it was such an honour to have so many influential people in Oman appreciating her for her accomplishment, perseverance and determination. She also said she faced her fears after learning she had no way but to move forward. “The expedition has made me wiser and more appreciative and I look forward to making the people of Oman proud,” she said.

Anisa also advised the young generation that if they don’t take risk, they will never know because sometimes it’s worth taking that risk to find the potential in you. She was part of an 11-member all women Euro-Arabian polar expedition led by English explorer and Antarctic scientist, Felicity Aston MBE. The team reached the North Pole in just eight days after travelling 80km on shifting ice of the Arctic Ocean.

“We faced freezing temperatures of -38°C. We also faced strong wind with tears of pain and stress but we are glad we made it in eight days,” Anisa said. Natalie too spoke of her 1,700km journey which was completed in 62 days. “We travelled up to 25km a day in extreme wind and cold. Good teamwork and good communication are strong weapons of success.”

H E Dr Sa’eedi also praised the women for their presentation. “I am honoured to be part of this event. We are proud of you and I am sure everyone of us has learnt something wise from your experiences.”

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