Mariam bin Laden becomes world’s first Arab woman to swim from Saudi Arabia to Egypt

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Saudi endurance swimmer and dentist Mariam bin Laden swam from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, becoming the first Arab and Saudi woman to achieve such a feat.

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Despite the threat of sharks, she swam across the Red Sea to reach the COP27 site in Egypt in order to raise awareness on the conservation of coral reefs, which are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Over 20 coral species are listed as threatened and two are listed as endangered under the US’ Endangered Species Act.

It has been estimated that coral reefs will decline by at least 70 percent even if global warming is limited to only 1.5 degrees Celsius, and that with 2 degrees Celsius of warming, almost all of the world’s coral reefs could be lost by 2070.

The swimmer posted several pictures and videos to her Instagram account, documenting her long journey.

Bin Laden was accompanied by endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh, a United Nations Patron of the Oceans.

The forthcoming COP27 climate summit is set to take place in Sharm El Sheikh from November 6 to 18.

Bin Laden, who is also an advocate for Syrian refugees, previously set out to break swimming records to raise awareness of Syrian refugee children and their suffering.

She became the first Arab woman to complete the 4.5 kilometer Hellespont Swim in Turkey, from Europe to Asia, in 2015.

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