Amal Al Saffar's Journey to the Artic
On a sunny afternoon, the TGLC team met with Amal Al Saffar to have a conversation about hopes and dreams. Amal took the team on a journey of stories about her adventures and what she had discovered. It was a beautiful day, and as the team waited for Amal’s arrival, the anticipation began. It was an unreal amount of enthusiasm she encompassed from the moment she entered. None of the team had ever met her personally before then, however it was as though they had known each other already. The conversations went on and on and Amal’s passion made the atmosphere inspiring. She goes by the name “super speaker” and there was no doubt in that. As the story telling went on, Amal had sparked a light of inspiration in everyone’s heart.
'My name is Amal Al Saffar, I am 23 years old. I just graduated from Bahrain Polytechnic, holding a bachelors degree in International Logistics Management.
I went to the Antarctic in 2013. This is like a magical trip for me, because it just came to me in a way that I never even thought of. I never imagined myself being in that part of the world one day. So I had to work so hard, day and night to achieve it. And by the time I was there, and my eyes witnessed that magnificent place and the majesty of that place I just started, you know crying. I felt like I’m obsessed with that place already. I’m obsessed and I’m really inspired by the ice and that untouched, pure part of the world. So that’s why after two and a half years I couldn’t resist and I felt like its time to go back to that little, white pure part of the world.
[How did you prepare yourself physically and mentally?] I had to stay in a freezer, an industrial freezer in Sitra industrial area. I trapped myself for one-hour and twenty-five minutes. I had to refer to a lot of Discovery Channel documentaries or National Geographic, and keeping in touch with people who are expert in that part of the world.
When I was there I was fascinated, I was really amazing about the historical background of the area. And I got to observe and witness and examine like actual bones for whales that are like millions of years old.
[How do you feel about the travellers you’ve encountered?] It was not an easy interaction, to be honest, but it wasn’t difficult as well. It’s about finding that missing piece in order to build bridges with them.
[What was the strongest connection you had on your trip?] So I’m going to put spiritual at the top, the first one. And the second one will be social and the third one will be environmental. Because I mean I love environment generally, I love green areas, natural areas, but still like if you don’t have that spirit to be in those green areas and get connected with the right people and engage with people, make peace with people, those green areas or that kind of amazing environment may not be worth much, if you don’t have the spirit to realize the value of it or understand it.
[What are changes you’d like to see in the future?] When it comes to change, I mean the word ‘change’ is not an easy thing itself. I mean change is a very big word. Implementing change and convincing people and having absolutely one hundred percent change is an adaptive challenge. It’s not going to happen overnight. So what I’m hoping out of this is that all of the good intentions and all of the good dreams and ambition I have in myself that I wanted to do and reach becomes a reality. Being yourself is the power to empower and inspire.
I felt so privileged to carry that banner regarding cancer all the way in the Artic. And you have no idea when I posted that picture on Instagram, Facebook and social media, all of the people were contacting me, people that have been affected by cancer, or even have someone related to them that struggled with cancer. It was a very nice gesture that brought all people to me. I was so happy to get to understand and listen to other peoples suffer or struggle.
[How did the TGLC bracelet inspire you?] The Generous Light Co. bracelet, it means a lot to me. The moment I met Noora and Karmina, and I knew about the concept of what they are trying to do, to spread happiness and inspiration through unique jewelry pieces to people, I love that. And I felt like, I should get something special coming from those two young ladies and it should be taken all the way with me to the Artic. Because I’m going to a very unique part of the world and what they are doing is so unique. I believed in their approach, their idea, this is why it meant so much to me. What I loved the most about it is that the designer, she combined two main words, like ‘rooh’ and ‘koowa’, like spirit and strength, she thinks or she believes this is what represents me or who I am. Like taking on those challenges on my own it takes a lot of strength and courage, at the same time you must have a strong spirit to keep going, so that was very inspirational. It means so much to me.
[Where next?] Well, next adventure. There is always a space for new adventures. Nothing is specific in mind to be honest, because sometimes I think of Greenland, sometimes going to see the Aurora like the green lights in the sky, sometimes I feel like why don’t I do something in Far East.
When you are in the Artic, you feel like you are absolutely in the middle of nowhere, absolutely away from anyone. Those things don’t come to your mind. You just, even if you do come to your mind, I do my best to eliminate those and just forget about them and live the moment, you know? Live the fact that I am physically, Amal, living in the Artic surrounded by nature and ocean and whales and glaciers and icebergs, and whatever components related to nature, I just live it. I just let my soul melt in that part of the world and just live it, live the experience. Because I know it’s going to be a short experience, I’m not going to live there the rest of my life, I wish! I mean it’s a very challenging place to live in, but I just keep myself disconnected and I just don’t think of anything except the majesty of that place and the purity of that place. How magnificent God is to create such places on earth and we as human beings must leave those places untouched, because despite having all of the problems and conflicts around the world, it can be war, it can be politics, so many things but there is still one place on earth that keep you feeling safe and peaceful and alone and protected – that’s what I love about it. It’s like going to my own little shelter and thinking for myself and about myself, what am I going to do? Just for myself, only me, nobody else, you know? That’s what I love about it – finding your own peace.'