Agence-Vleeptron Presse's Man-on-the-Ground in Karachi informs us that there wasn't just a Saudi woman making history on the Top Of The World.
There's a 21-year-old Pakistani woman, her 29-year-old brother (photo caption unclear if that's he on the right, but whoever the heck he is, he's standing on the summit of Mount Everest -- and that ain't chopped liver), and they both made it without oxygen bottles! (Air's a bit thin up there ...)
Also in this remarkable Everest expedition were twin sisters from India. Indian and Pakistani women climbed the highest mountain on the planet and planted their national flags side by side. Just guessing, but bet there were lots of broad smiling and grinning, maybe hugging, too.
Wow. Amazing. Remarkable.
The Express Tribune
Pakistan national daily
Monday 20 May 2013
For the record:
...makes Pakistan proud
by Sehrish Ali / Shabbir Mir
ISLAMABAD / GILGIT-BALTISTAN -- Two young siblings achieved rare mountaineering glory for themselves on Saturday by becoming the first Pakistani woman and only the third Pakistani man to set foot on the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal.
Through their feats, 21-year-old Samina Baig and her 29-year-old brother Mirza Ali ensured that their country’s flag fluttered on the world’s highest summit.
An ecstatic Samina informed her family about her successful ascent via satellite phone.
Mirza Ali and Samina can count themselves lucky as they will be remembered as the only Pakistanis to scale Everest on the 60th anniversary of the first conquest by Edmund Hillary [New Zealand] and Tenzing Norgay [Nepal] on 19 May 1953.
Only two other Pakistani mountaineers, Nazir Sabir and Hassan Sadpara, have ever climbed the highest peak.
“According to initial reports, the two mountaineers and 29 other foreigners reached the summit at 7.30 am (local time),” said Pervaizuddin, a resident of Shimshal Valley.
Two twin sisters from India, Tashi and Nugshi, also accompanied Samina and Mirza.
Together, the siblings placed the flags of India and Pakistan side by side on the highest peak on earth -- making a statement of peace.
But Samina and Mirza’s effort stood out because the two siblings managed to scale the peak on the 48th day of their expedition, without the use of supplementary oxygen.
Mirza, who has been regularly updating about their expedition on his blog
[Check out this blog!!! The dude remembered to bring his camera and took amazing photos of the team's ascent to the Top of the World!!! They're on the long, perilous descent now -- but he posts his satellite phone number and invites fans to call!!!]
wrote: “We request all our readers and visitors [to] please pray that Samina becomes the first Pakistani woman to reach the summit of Everest. And I hope to be the first young Pakistani without bottled oxygen to unfurl Pakistan’s flag on top of the world together with our Indian friends! Wish us luck! Thank you for sharing and for your support!”
Hailing from Shimshal village in Gojal tehsil of Hunza-Nagar district, Samina has come a long way.
“She is proof that the country has the talent and motivation; unfortunately there is no government support for mountain climbers,” said Colonel Sher Khan, one of the country’s leading mountaineers. “It is a sport without spectators.” Khan counts the people of Shimshal as among the world’s best climbers.
Samina’s expedition began on 1 April. She and her team ascended the mountain via the south face from the Nepalese side.
Mirza and Samina have been mountaineering for leisure for the last 10 years. They have served as mountain guides and expedition leaders for peaks in the Karakoram, the Himalayas and the Hindukush. But Samina has started climbing professionally for the past four years.
- 30 -