Pakistani mountaineering siblings Samina and Mirza Ali Baig are being backed by a special kind of Adventure Diplomacy Group (ADG), consisting of the Embassies of Republic of Argentina, Republic of Indonesia, Nepal, Russian Federation, United States of America, and the Serena hotel, for the “Beyond the heights” documentary which paid a tribute to Samina Mirza Ali.
In May 2013, Samina Baig made headlines around the world when she climbed Mount Everest. Her brother Mirza Ali had accompanied her on the trek, but stayed back while she conquered the mountain. The duo helped make a powerful statement about women’s empowerment.
After the pair returned from Mount Everest, the Serena Hotels founded the ADG to help turn the duo’s dream of becoming the world’s first siblings to conquer seven of the world’s highest peaks across seven continents into reality. The Group, consisting of Embassies of the Argentine Republic, Republic of Indonesia, Nepal, Russian Federation, United States of America, along with Serena Hotels, aimed to facilitate and sponsor Samina and Mirza’s journey across the world to promote peace, gender equality, women empowerment, youth development, and environmental awareness. On July 24, 2014, an excited Mirza announced via satellite phone that he and his sister had hoisted the green flag of Pakistan on top of Mount Elbrus, which runs high at 5,642m.
On Thursday, the ADG hosted an exclusive screening of the much-anticipated documentary called “beyond the heights” which featured Samina’s mountaineering efforts, which helped her land at the top of Mount Everest. The premiere of the documentary was attended by business leaders, government officials, and diplomats from across Islamabad. A beaming Mirza, who had filmed the footage for the documentary, spoke before the screening. He said, “Pakistan’s youth is brimming with promise. It is a pleasure to unveil tonight how much my sister – one of the strongest women I know -has accomplished through her perseverance. All Pakistani women are capable of this strength. We must support them in all their endeavours.” Mirza had stayed behind in during May 2013, and is preparing to summit Mount Everest this year in April.
Nepalese Ambassador Bharat Raj Paudyal delivered the welcome note. He said, “Mountaineering is a tough challenge anywhere in the world and it becomes tougher both physically and logistically when you aim for the highest point on earth. By their perseverance and commitment, Samina and Mirza have achieved something that serves as an inspiration to the youth of Pakistan.” The documentary opened with spellbinding shots of Mirza and Samina’s hometown in Shimshal, a valley in Upper Hunza. The audience fell silent as they watched Samina’s courage play out on the screen as she travelled against great odds from her village in Hunza to the summit of Mount Everest.
Addressing the event, US Ambassador Richard Olson said, “Every March, we celebrate Women’s History Month in the United States to recognise the contributions of women in all aspects of our society. Samina’s achievements on and off the summits are an inspiration to all of us.”
Samina’s work is not just an inspiration for women, but to all Pakistanis who want to do something that really helps them stand out.