The Serena Hotels celebrated Mount Everest Day 2017 in collaboration with the Embassy of Nepal. The event was held at the Sheesh Mahal Hall with more than two hundred dignitaries, including members of the diplomatic corps and government, in attendance. Nepal has been celebrating Mount Everest Day since 2008.
Her Excellency Ambassador of Nepal SewaLamsalAdhikari, Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and CEO Serena Hotels Aziz Boolani inaugurated the event by lighting a traditional Nepalese lamp. Her Excellency also presented a letter of appreciation to the summiteers, honouring their achievement.
Present at the event was Everest Summiteer Nazir Sabir whose documentary was displayed and enjoyed thoroughly by the guests. The documentary showcased the grandeur of the peaks, the challenges faced by the mountaineers and their mighty success. Samina Baigwho scaled the mountain in 2013; she was presently taking exams so was represented by her brother Mirza Ali who had been part of the Everest expedition. Hasan Sadpara who had also scaled the world’s highest peak passed away in 2015. Col Retd Abdul Jabbar Bhatti’s climb to the summit has yet to be confirmed.
CEO of Serena Hotels Aziz Boolani said, “It is a great privilege for us to honour the mountaineers who have scaled Mount Everest. We formed the adventure diplomacy initiative to encourage human engagement with the nature in ways that test physical prowess, endurance and commitment to facilitate a mountaineer. Serena Hotels has supported the sport since Samina Baig made history on May 19, 2013, by becoming the youngest Muslim woman and first Pakistani woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. After she returned from Everest, Serena Hotels founded the adventure diplomacy group in 2014 to help Samina and her brother and become the first siblings to climb seven peaks in seven continents.”
He added, “We continue to support talent in Pakistan through various initiatives under cultural diplomacy and sports diplomacy and I thank you for your continued support of our efforts.”
Nazir Sabir said, “I have been fortunate to visit Nepal many times and our spiritual connectivity because of the Himalayan chain of mountains is very deep. Any climb up a mountain is like a pilgrimage and in mountaineering, you climb in the shadow of death for months and every moment is a prayer. The first time I went to Nepal for the Everest Summit, we failed to climb for three times. The next time it also took three attempts before I reached the summit.”
The guest of honour Minister of State Tariq Fazal Chaudhry said, “I congratulate the ambassador and people of Nepal on this auspicious occasion. This is a significant day for promoting mountain tourism in Nepal. Pakistan and Nepal have both been blessed with spectacular mountains and extraordinary historical treasures, many of which are world heritage sites. These are treasures that allow us to build our tourism and share the wonders with the rest of the world”.
Her Excellency Ambassador of Nepal SewaLamsalAdhikari said, “It is heartening to see so much interest in celebrating this important day. It is a special day in the history of mountaineers because, in 1953, Mount Everest was scaled for the first time. Humans reached the top of the world and since then, some 4,000 climbers have reached the peak. I am told more Pakistanis have planned to climb Mount Everest this year and I wish them the best of luck.”
She went on to reiterate the importance of mountains in the global ecosystems stating that they are the source of water for many. Pakistan and Nepal are privileged to be the custodians of these mountain ranges and must prevent climate change from harming these majestic treasures.