For a country which is known for its misogynistic policies, and the so-called traditions and customs dictated by the “Holy Book” that must be followed, there are a few bright stars who are the hope for a better future for Pakistan. The country which saw a child champion for women empowerment through education, and who survived a bullet to her head, Malala Yousafzai, has a new star shining brightly – Samina Baig.
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All of 23 years, this lady of true grit, has achieved that which most people only aspire to: she has summited the seven tallest peaks in the seven continents. Accompanied by her brother Mirza Ali, Samina Baig who hails from the mountainous region Hunza Valley in Pakistan, completed this feat on July 27th, 2014, essentially becoming the first Pakistani woman to do so. Samina was part of an adventure diplomacy mission, funded by passionate climbers outside Pakistan, a few embassies in Islamabad, with no support from the Pakistan (no surprises there!).
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- In January of 2013, the brother-sister duo conquered the highest peak in Antarctica, Mt Vinson, which stands at 4,892 meters.
- They scaled the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Mt Kilimanjaro in New Zealand, which tops at 5,895 meters, in February of 2013.
- Samina bore the honor of becoming the first Pakistani woman to climb Mt Everest, the highest mountain on Earth, in May of 2013. But her brother couldn’t reach the summit due to an avalanche that killed 16 Sherpas and climbers making it the deadliest accidents in climbing history. He plans to scale the Everest again, making the brother-sister duo the first siblings in the world to conquer the seven summits.
- In December of last year, the duo made history when they made their way on top of Mt Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest peak in South America at 6,960 meters.
- Samina and Mirza reached the top of the 4,884-meters high summit of the Carstensz Pyramid or Puncak Jaya in March of this year.
- On July 3rd, 2014, Samina became the first Pakistani woman to scale the highest mountain in North America, Mt McKinley in Alaska, which stands at 6,168 meters.
- The brother-sister climbing team flew to Russia from Alaska, where they went on to scale the last highest mountain on their list, Mt Elbrus, which tops off at 5,642 meters, making it the highest mountain in Europe, thus making this courageous lady the first on many a list!
Let’s just hope this amazing lady goes on and accomplishes many other firsts for all the world to see. Go Samina!
Featured image source: dawn.com