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Tibetan flag on top of Mount Everest

June 7, 2008

By Tenzin Choephel, Phayul Correspondent
June 4, 2008

Kathmandu, June 4 -- After months of heavy security and climbing
restriction on Mt.Everest by both the Chinese and Nepalese Government
to allow safe passage for the Olympic torch to the summit, a 37 year
old Jordanian climber Mostafa Salameh became the first man of his
country to summit the 8848 meter peak on 25th May 2008 at 6.50 AM
from the South Ridge on Nepalese side where he took a Tibetan
National flag and fluttered it on top of the world doing all Tibetans
proud. He also wrote 'Free Tibet" & "Free Palestine" on the bottom of the flag.

According to Sonam, a Tibetan living in Namche Bazar in the Everest
Region, Mostafa came to his shop and was showing a great deal of
interest in anything Tibetan and looking for a Tibetan flag to take
with him to the peak. Sonam while talking to Phayul over phone said,
"He said he wanted to carry a Tibetan flag to the top, so I gave him
one from my shop".

Mostafa carried the flag in his bag to the Everest Base Camp amid
tight security by Nepalese soldiers stationed there but managed to
pass through the security. He took it further to Camp 2 where he
succeeded in hiding it again during the checking.

The Nepalese Government under pressure from China did not allow
climbers from the Nepalese side of the Mount Everest beyond Camp 2
until May 10 but after the Olympic torch reached the top of Mount
Everest from Tibet side on 8th of May, the security was reportedly
relaxed. According to Sonam, Mostafa managed to hide the flag until
that time and then took it with him to the summit, he was a single
climber and escorted by only one Sherpa climber. Sonam said, "He
returned to Namche on 29th May, he told me he had a surprise for me
and it was the picture. He flew to Kathmandu on 31st and I think now
he must have already left Nepal".

Sonam also told Phayul that an American and a Canadian bought
t-shirts with 'Free Tibet' slogans and wore it on top of the summit
during the season.
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