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Tunisian climber reaches Everest summit

Tahar Manai embarked on his journey in Nepal and reached the peak after 9 hours of climbing

Published: Updated:

Tunisian climber reaches the top of Mount Everest, in the Himalayas mountain range, conquering the highest summit in the world (height of 8,848 mt).

Twenty-six year old Tahar Manai embarked on his journey in Nepal and made it in 9 hours of climbing and temperature - 50 degrees Celsius.

He told Al Arabiya English his experience was “terrifying”, and that he had witnessed people die because they couldn’t survive the “extreme” cold weather.

Manai was in Nepal when the devastating earthquake hit the land of snow peaks, and triggered several avalanches.

He said: “I felt obliged to stop my adventure for several months… I was looking at the top of Everest thinking of another attempt to climb the mountain.”

The climber who resides in France, said he was ‘touched’ and inspired by his father who is one of the freedom militants in Tunisia who suffered for serveral years during former Tunisian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali's era. He was for him the example of self-determination.

He said that at some point while he was climbing Everest, his oxygen bottle crashed leaving him with no more oxygen.

He said his assistant refused to give him his bottle "and it was understood," while another climber at an altitude of 8700 mt lent him his oxygen container.

Manai said: “That moment I knew what it means to be a human being and how fate and circumstances can be at your side to help you finally realise your dream!”

He said when 10 meters to the top were remaining, he would “collapse in tears” whenever he passed one meter.

“I reached the top of mount Everest and saw Tibet and Nepal, the whole world was underneath me ... At that altitude there is nothing above you except airplanes ... I cried for 10 minutes on the summit, and the first thing I did was hoist the Tunisian flag at the top of the world,” he said.

He called his Himalayan adventure "The ascent of a nation" wishing to pay a tribute to his country.