Having travelled to over 55 countries over the last 13 years, nothing has captured El-Najjar’s imagination as Egypt’s own wonders.
When he’s not being a Clinical Nutrition Specialist at his day job, Mina El-Najjar likes to spend his free time climbing the world’s tallest mountains. He conquered 3 out of the 7 summits - Kilimanjaro, Accanguoa, Elbrus - but always returned home from his adventures with a newfound fondness for his Motherland.
It’s this fondness that pushed him to, for the first time since he started his globetrotting exploits in 2009, stop and look inside Egypt for his adventures. He started last year by hiking from Wadi Feran to El Nab in Sharm El Sheikh, and his most recent trip has seen him undertake a 215km trek across the plains of Sinai on foot. He started at El Tor on the west coast of the peninsula and traveled through St. Catherine, before reaching his final destination at Nuweiba on the east coast.
“It’s always fascinating hiking outside Egypt, it’s an opportunity to experience different cultures,” El-Najjar told #CairoScene. “To me, though, Sinai is a hidden gem. You get to interact with nature and fully immerse yourself in its progressive changes. It’s so calming to disconnect from everything and just experience all parts of Sinai individually. To me, it’s definitely about self-discovery.”
Having visited over 55 countries and touched base - or peak? - at around 20 summits worldwide, nothing seems to have quite matched his experiences in Egypt. “There was something almost meditative about travelling from coast to coast,” he remembers. “Getting to meet the different tribes, getting to experience their different traditions was really eye-opening and satisfying.” With this fresh sense of wonder to the gems across Egypt, it won’t be too long till we see El-Najjar dust off his hiking boots and head out for more adventures.