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Dr. Joyce Azzam - First Lebanese women to climb the 7 Summits & going after the Explorers Grand

Dr. Joyce Azzam - First Lebanese women to climb the 7 Summits & going after the Explorers Grand Slam!

Joyce was born in 1984, during the Lebanese Civil War in Beirut. While growing up, Joyce didn’t get to spend time outdoors in nature or in the mountains, her childhood was traumatic, living in a war zone and having to flee her family home to escape the bombings.

Her love of sports and the outdoors came later on when she was a teenager. A friend invited her to go hiking and that experience of going outside and climbing mountains changed her. Through the challenges of the mountains, she has found her strength, they have made her stronger, they have become her mentors.

She has gone on to climb mountains all over the world and has become the first Lebanese women to climb the 7 highest summits on the 7 continents. During this podcast, Joyce, will share more of her journey, the passion, the challenges, the set backs she has had to overcome and what she has learned on the journey. She also shares more about her motivations and why she continues to dream big.

“Mountains are my mentors, they have changed me, and they have made me stronger.”


Listen to Dr. Joyce Now!

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Show notes

  • Living in Beirut

  • Growing up during the War

  • Coming from a modest family

  • Getting a good education and deciding to study Architecture

  • Winning a scholarship to do her Masters in Italy

  • Getting her PhD

  • Her love of the mountains

  • Learning new skills and getting to love nature

  • Starting her 7 summit journey with Mt. Elbrus

  • Having to pause her 7 summits challenge while she pursued her PhD

  • Deciding to complete the remaining 4 summits

  • Not being able to summit Aconcagua in Argentina and deciding to abort the summit attempt

  • Making hard decisions in the mountains

  • Climbing Kilimanjaro next

  • Going back to Aconcagua in 2017 and summiting

  • Spending over a year getting the fundraising to complete the next mountains

  • Struggling with moments of doubt

  • Her angels and support system

  • How she is seen in Lebanon, and what her family and friends think about her ambitions to climb mountains

  • Breaking stereotypes and encouraging more women to climb

  • Raha Moharrak and being the youngest Arab women to climb the 7 summits

  • What she has learnt from climbing the mountains and why the mountains are her mentors

  • What climbing in Lebanon is like and how it prepared her for climbing mountains

  • Learning to trust her gut and going after her dreams

  • Getting the sponsorship and making it happen

  • #YESYOUCAN where is started from and how it evolved over time

  • Sharing and promoting children’s dreams and why it was so important for her

  • Why the 7 summits isn’t the end!

  • Being ambitious and having big goals

  • Going after the LONG DISTANCE Explorers Grand Slam!

  • Recovering from Everest and training for her next challenge

  • Working full time while doing challenges

  • Dealing with the cold!

  • Using the Wim Hoff training method

  • Her mantra….Her motto

  • Choosing what makes her happy and why it is your responsibility for your happiness

  • Advice for other women

  • Why the WHY is so important

  • Being a one woman show and doing it all herself


Social Media

Instagram - @joyceazzam7s


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