All the happenings, stories and snippets from the vibrant world of Serena Hotels Pakistan
When Samina and Mirza Ali Baig set off from Pakistan on November 30, 2013, ready to conquer Seven Summits across Seven Continents, they took with them the prayers of a nation ready to be thrust into the limelight for all the right reasons.
At a Farewell Reception hosted by The Adventure Diplomacy Group , consisting of Serena Hotels and the Embassies of the Argentine Republic, Republic of Indonesia, Nepal, Russian Federation and the United States of America, the siblings spoke passionately about women empowerment, cultural diplomacy through adventure sports, sustainable tourism and the importance of nurturing the youth of Pakistan. Almost a year ago, they were bright eyed and ready for their dreams to materialise into concrete reality.
Last night, we witnessed and celebrated the conclusion of the epic journey that not only changed the way the world perceived Pakistan, but also showcased the best of what Pakistan’s youth can offer. The grand celebratory reception held at Islamabad Serena Hotel was hosted to welcome the siblings back from the seven highest points in the world.
A rapt, teary-eyed hall listened to Samina talk about her childhood in a small village in Hunza, her memories of growing up alongside her older brother, mentor and climbing partner Mirza Ali. Mirza beamed with pride when he got up to speak with a smile reserved, not for his own accomplishments, but for his little sister’s. He spoke eloquently about the challenges they had encountered on top of the seven peaks; harsh weather, snow, rain, hail, hazardous climbing conditions, but also eloquently explained to the audience the need to surmount them as a symbol of faith in Pakistan.
Each of the Ambassadors whose countries were part of the Adventure Diplomacy Group also spoke in turn to laud the siblings’ accomplishments. CEO of Serena Hotels, Mr. Aziz Boolani said, ” [Mirza and Samina’s] …strength and perseverance in the face of extraordinary physical odds is truly a source of inspiration for all of us. “
The Adventure Diplomacy Group, Mr. Sartaj Aziz with Samina and Mirza
Chief Guest, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs said their accomplishment, coming so soon on the heels of Samina’s ascent of Mount Everest served as a proud moment for Pakistan.
The Adventure Diplomacy Group also presented a souvenir to the siblings on behalf of the ADG. The sculpture/painting was specially built for the siblings and represented an amalgamation of all seven of the world’s seven highest peaks that the pair had visited: Mount Everest, Mount Aconcagua, Mount Vinson Massif, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Carstensz Pyramid, Mount Denali and Mount Elbrus.
Guests took the opportunity to congratulate the famous duo after the event. They were also enthralled by a display of the materials and gear used by Mirza and Samina on their trek. Signed photographs were also available for purchase; donations from which will be donated in their entirety to the Internally Displaced Persons of Pakistan.
Here’s hoping this is just the start for a pair who has already climbed so high (pun intended!). We wish them the best of luck in all their future endeavours.
To access a complete list of pictures from the event, please click here.