Scaling mountains: If I can do it so can you, says Samina Baig

'I want to tell the women in Pakistan that if I can climb mountains, they can climb their own mountains'

Web Desk November 07, 2015

Scaling Everest, the world’s highest mountain at 29,029 feet, is a dream for every serious mountaineer, but to Pakistan's Samina Baig, it meant even more.

For Samina Baig who belongs to Shimshal village in Hunza Valley, her reaching the the top of Everest is emblematic. It is a message to her fellow citizens.

Samina Baig: First Pakistani woman to scale Mount Everest

On May 19, 2103, Baig became one of fewer than 400 women from all over the world to stand on top of the world. Speaking about what it meant to her, Baig said, "On Mount Everest, I was not Samina Baig. I was representing Pakistani women. I was thinking that if I don't make it, how am I going to encourage other women? I had to do it.”

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“I want to tell the women in Pakistan that if I am from Pakistan and I can climb mountains, they can climb their own mountains, because everyone has their own mountains in their lives,” Baig said during a recent visit to California.

“They can work hard, they can overcome their challenges and they can reach their goals," she added further.

Baig’s expeditions are financed  by private donations and mountaineering friends reveals Baig’s older brother Mirza Ali Baig who is a professional mountain guide, adding that it took years of saving to climb Everest.

Hamid Asghar Khan, the consul general of Pakistan in Los Angeles, praised Baig in email comments as a role model who is proof that Pakistani women “have equal opportunities to excel in the field of their choice.”

Injury forces Samina Baig to call off K-2 summit bid

“Her achievements are a beacon of light, encouraging the young women of Pakistan to reach out and fulfill their dreams and aspirations.” he said.

Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's Ambassador to United Nations, also praised Baig saying that she exemplifies the confidence and determination exhibited by several Pakistani women who have “broken the glass ceiling” that often holds them back. Baig and her brother have set out on a mission to chase away stereotypes about Pakistani women.

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“For those who think that women in Pakistan are always oppressed, that they don't have opportunity … [Samina] is just one example,” Mirza Ali Baig said.

Ever since Baig's Everest climb, the Alpine Club has observed a hike in the number of girls and boys participating in outdoor activities. Baig hopes hopes the enthusiasm will continue to grow until her message fully echoes that “you can achieve anything. Just believe in yourself and just work hard."
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Since Everest, Baig has climbed to the top of the highest mountains on the five other continents: Denali in Alaska, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Elbrus in Russia, Aconcagua in Argentina and Vinson in Antarctica, as well as Carstensz Pyramid in Oceania.

This article originally appeared on LATIMES


Aviator | 7 years ago | Reply Incredible achievements and inspiration!
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