Ali Khalil Hussein … A great passion for adventure
Ali Khalil Hussein studied to become an oil engineer but he was also born to be an explorer. Since he was 17 years old, Ali decided to leave Kuwait and embark on a journey of exploration. He is now sharing his life experience with you.
Ali was born Kuwaiti but considers himself a citizen of this planet, specifically the Arabian Peninsula. He left Kuwait as a teenager and began traveling and discovering the world ever since. Ali lived in various parts of the world, especially around salty water and majestic mountains. He also spent 11 years working in the field of energy exploration in Alaska and the North Pole before returning to the Arabian Peninsula to explore the virgin areas.
Ali decided to leave the oil industry as an engineering director in Abu Dhabi’s largest oil field to focus on Husaak’s adventures. He says “I have invested 12 years of my life in oil industry and developing oil reservoirs, thinking that petrol is the most important resource we have. It suddenly came to my mind that the people of the Arabian Peninsula need attention away from oil, the picturesque desert nature led me to spend my time developing and thinking of adventure methods”.
What is Husaak? What does it mean?
Husaak is a long story, and I always tell people if you want to know the origin of this name, I will reveal it to you during a camping night around the fire when you accompany me in an interesting trip to a certain destination.
When did you discover that you have this great passion for traveling and exploring the world?
It was at an early age when I left Kuwait to study in Colorado. I reached the school to find people stuck on the mountains, at that moment I realized that I wanted to be part of the great open air world.
What was your first trip? Tell us about the magical moment that set you free
The first trip was in Colorado 17 years ago, when I went hiking on a small hill behind the school with a friend. The temperature was (-25 degrees), and this outing witnessed the first spiritual contact between me and the nature. At that moment I knew that nature was much stronger than anyone of us.
If we ask you to describe the planet in one sentence, what will you say?
It is a lonely planet, waiting for us to spend time with it.
Why do you feel that it is important to share this passion with others?
Good energy is contagious, and sharing the same hobby, love or passion usually helps solve a lot of things. When you share your passion, your happiness with others, you will get more happiness, more productivity, and more progress, this is how humanity develops over time.
Tell us about Husaak, how did you come out with this concept?
I moved to Oman and found this magical world that had never been touched before, so I decided to share this trip with others. Today after 4 years, more than 3,000 people from the GCC are accompanying me and the number is increasing like a fireball. We are working hard on helping achieving the goal of human development by focusing on introducing GCC nationals to outdoor adventures. We have so far succeeded in introducing more than 3000 people to the joy and the outdoor activities with our adventurous outings at the end of the week in Abu Dhabi, Oman and Saudi Arabia. We also organize long annual trips to Alaska, Mongolia, Antarctica, Uganda, Chile and Tanzania.
What is the common reaction of participants after each trip?
Amazement! They discover themselves and push themselves further and seek new experiences.
What are the activities that you take part away from adventure just for fun?
We recently organized the largest desert marathon in the sand dunes of Abu Dhabi, where 500 people took part in fundraising EWS-WWF’s wildlife conservation efforts. In collaboration with WWF, we recently returned from Mongolia, where we assisted WWF scientists in their efforts to track and preserve the endangered snow leopard.
We also started a yearly mountain challenge in Jebel Shams, where I guided more than 400 people during the last two events to the highest point in the GCC. We hope to carry on our efforts in order to assist and guide all these organizations dedicated to educate the regional population about the importance of environmental conservation.
What did you learn from traveling? Lessons you will never forget?
Life lessons are never learned at school. Outdoor adventures are a survival school that teaches us skills we have not learned in normal or routine days, life’s circumstances in the future. Most people come to our trips thinking that their existing problems are the biggest burden in the world, but they soon realize that their problems are the smallest.
You say (nature is a great place for people to find themselves) Tell us more about this belief? How so?
In nature you feel detached from yourself and open minded, you don’t need to have negative reactions, it’s a place where you cannot talk about work, politics and religion, here you really find your real self and usually you find out that you are a good person.
Do these trips cause difficulties and discomfort? How can people overcome them to enjoy the trip?
They are a key element in the journey. And it can be even more. Come and discover…
What are the first ideas and principles you share with participants before any trip?
Now you are all equal. Nothing matters here, not the blood, nor your tribe or your position at work. What is important is your mental readiness to climb this mountain and how well your body can do it.
A destination you’ve been dreaming of exploring and this did not happen yet? And why?
Socotra, an island within the Yemeni border; it contains 187 species of animals and creatures that exist only on that island among all the destinations on this planet.
If you have the choice, where will be your retirement destination?
Mongolia, back to the originals and the roots, with an access to land products as produced with very little human influence.
Do you have other projects related to Husaak? Book or TV show?
We had a TV program, and I’m working on writing a book but this is a long term project.
What do you say to travelers and novice explorers?
Travel around the world, the more you travel, the more humble and tolerant you become and you even accept others more.
Tell us about the most important safety principles to travel for joy?
Be aware of humans, do not worry about animals, they do not cause damages to us.
Do you recommend any books that talk about this field?
Maps are the best books with the best stories.
Any other ideas?
Travel, leave, stay away, and do not let the society be an obstacle that detours you from your adventures or causes you a complex.