Doha, Qatar: In April 2016, Dr. Nasser Saqer Al-Mohannadi became one of the first Qataris ever to complete a full Ironman race. He swam 3.8km, biked 180km and ran 42.2km on one of the most difficult Ironman courses in the world. It was the fulfilment of a childhood dream and the climax of 28 years of preparation and training.
March 3rd, 2018 marked another milestone for Al-Mohannadi: his book detailing his life's experiences titled, How to Be an Ironman, published by Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press), launched to a packed audience at FNAC store at Doha Festival City's branch.
Al-Mohannadi, who is also the adjunct professor at Texas A&M, Senior Advisor at Qatar Petroleum, board member of Qatar Science and Technology Park and Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation, in addition to being a renowned athlete, was inspired to write this book for many reasons.
"I wrote this book to share my experiences, my trials and tribulations," explains Al-Mohannadi, "and to build awareness and share my knowledge on how to acquire the mental skills needed to overcome any physical or mental obstacle which ultimately supports human development."
In How to Be an Ironman, Al-Mohannadi describes how he overcame childhood fears, cultural misunderstanding and physical injuries to reach his goal. Through careful planning, persistence and learning through mistakes, he achieved what seemed impossible.
Not only is this book a milestone for Al-Mohannadi, but it marks another important achievement HBKU Press in the fulfilment of the publishing house's commitment to cultivating and supporting local Qatari authors.
The event is also the first of many collaborations to come between HBKU Press and FNAC in an effort to engage the local population to participate in literary events as well as highlight local talents in Qatar.
Mr. Bader Abdullah Al-Darwish, Chairman and Managing Director of Darwish Holding, commented: "Supporting local talents and investing time, effort and resources in nurturing them is an ethos instilled in FNAC's DNA. Such talents will define the future and will build upon our ancestors' heritage and steer our country forward. Al-Mohannadi, similar to other wonderfully talented Qataris, is chasing his dreams through an exciting journey and we are happy to be part of it."
"We are pleased to work hand in hand with HBKU Press, who is also considered as a world-class publishing house which promotes literary culture in Qatar and the Middle East.," he added.
"Al-Mohannadi joins a growing list of Qatari authors who are choosing to publish with HBKU Press, as we are committed to giving local talents a platform to tell their unique stories,"
explains Rima Ismail, Outreach and Special Projects Manager of HBKU, "Not only is How to Be an Ironman inspiring, reminding us not to give up on our dreams and the things that really matter in what has become an increasingly materialistic and demanding society, but it is a written as an eloquent narrative that both engages and informs the reader. This book reflects the high-quality standard of work that HBKU Press seeks to publish and was chosen because of it."