About The Speaker
Founder of Surviving Hijab. Manal Rostom aka Egypt's most prominent marathoner & female mountaineer, is someone who has achieved many firsts for Arab & Egyptian women. Egyptian National, born and raised in Kuwait. In 2020 she was named “Africa’s top 50 most powerful women” by Forbes Africa. Manal is the first Hijabi woman to model in a Nike Running Campaign in 2015 & First Arab to be featured in an Audio Guided Run on the Global Nike Run Club App in 2018. Manal also became the Global face of the Nike Pro Hijab in March 2017. Manal is the founder of the renowned Facebook Group: Surviving Hijab , a 800,000 women’s only ,closed group on Facebook that helps defy stereotypes and empower women who wish to wear the hijab as a sign of faith. The group has been recently awarded Facebook’s community leadership fellowship award by Facebook as one of the largest groups on Facebook currently present to shatter stereotypes and support minorities. Manal recently led an all – women Everest Base Camp trip to raise awareness about tolerance , inclusivity & equality for all women in partnership with Facebook. Manal is the first Egyptian woman to run the Great wall of China Marathon in May 2016 & first Egyptian woman to summit Mont Blanc in The Alps in September 2018. Manal has climbed a total of 7 mountains, 2 of which are Kilimanjaro & Elbrus , considered as 2 out of the 7 highest mountains in every continent. The 5 other mountains are Mt St Catherine in Egypt, Jabal Shams in Oman , Mt Toubkal in Morocco , Mt Kenya in Kenya & Mont Blanc in France( First Egyptian Woman). Manal has run 13 marathons, 5 of which are NYC , Berlin , Chicago , Boston & London Marathon - considered as World’s Major Marathons. Manal is currently the first Egyptian to complete 5 out of 6 World Marathon Majors. Manal has also run Kuwait , Muscat, Dubai, Cairo, Luxor, Great Wall of China & Wadi Bih (in Oman) Marathons. Manal dreams to become the first Egyptian woman to complete the 7 summits ( 7 highest mountains in every continent) and first Egyptian to run the 6 Major Marathons around the world. In November 2018, She appeared in a commercial with Mo Farah for the Dubai Mall In Dubai , UAE. With an Instagram & Facebook following of around 100,000 followers from all around the world, she hopes to continue smashing stereotypes by going against the norm and standing up for all hijabi women, all women, to spread positive messages about tolerance & inclusivity, one mountain and one marathon at a time. She is often invited internationally to share her story; her biggest crowed to date was last March 2018 , when she spoke to 5000 people at Facebook’s Global Marketing & Sales conference in San Francisco , California. Manal currently is currently based in in Dubai , UAE , and after quitting her job as a pharmacist , she is now a full time Personal Trainer & Fitness Instructor as well as Nike’s Running Ambassador.