On Tuesday, June 16, the last day of school for most secondary students, the school decided to offer them a treat: we invited Maxime Chaya to address them! In her introduction to “Max”, SVP Mishka Mourani said,”About four years ago I had the privilege to visit Nepal for the first time. I will never forget the feeling of awe when I glimpsed the majestic Himalayas as we approached Kathmandu. The greatest symbol of overcoming challenges when I was growing up was climbing Mount Everest. I still remember the exhilaration of reading the fabulous story of Edmund Hilary and his companion Sherpa Tenzing.
When I heard about the unmatched accomplishment of Lebanon’s foremost sportsman and climber, Maxime Chaya, in hoisting the Lebanese flag atop Mount Everest, I was filled with joy and pride and hope. To me, Maxime Chaya is the Lebanese Hero par excellence!
Max- as he is known - ascended the highest mountain on every continent – the Seven Summits – while also skiing to the North and South Poles.
Like many of my generation, and as a result of the Lebanese war of 1975-1990, Max lived in France, Greece and Canada and studied in all those places, as well as in England, where he attended the London School of Economics.
Knighted twice for his achievements, Max lives near Beirut. Today you are all in for a treat! You will have the opportunity to hear about challenges overcome and dreams fulfilled. Max did not disappoint! He inspired the audience with his tales of adventure and challenge. It was a wonderful way to end the school year, and as one student said, “He made me proud to be Lebanese!”