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Friday, November 9, 2012
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Wasfia sets off for Antarctica

Bangladeshi adventuress Wasfia Nazreen (C) is being handed a Bangladeshi flag by Brac chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed (R) and social activist Khushi Kabir, during the flag-off ceremony for her expedition to Antarctica at the Brac Center in Mohakhali yesterday.Photo: STAR

Bangladeshi adventuress Wasfia Nazreen will continue on her quest to conquer the Seven Summits with an expedition to climb Mount Vinson in Antarctica. Wasfia who became the second Bangladeshi woman to climb Mount Everest earlier this year, will set off for the frozen continent within a few days, it was revealed during her flag-off ceremony at the Brac Center auditorium last night.

Wasfia leaves the country this week and will first spend three weeks to train and acclimatise with Patrick Morrow, the first person to have finished seven summits, in the winter wilderness of Canada. Following her training she will then set foot on Antarctica via the Chilean territory. If everything goes according to plan, she is set to summit Vinson in early-mid January 2013.

Mount Vinson will be Wasfia's fourth expedition of the series. She has previously successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Aconcagua in South America and Mount Everest in Asia.

Brac, BKash and Brac Bank are wholly financing her initiative. Brac also announced its pledge to collaborate with Wasfia by making her its Goodwill Ambassador for the next one year. In this one year, she will work to champion the cause of women empowerment and motivate, encourage and inspire the young women leaders of the country.

Yesterday's flag off ceremony was attended by a host of luminaries including Brac chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed.

“Regardless the dangers and difficulties of her next expedition, she will be the first South Asian woman to have conquered the seven summits. BRAC has been working for women empowerment since many years and having her as a goodwill ambassador will further enhance our endeavors,” said Abed.

“Hopefully her successful venture will bring forward more people to support her in this incredible journey,” he said.

Also present was national cricket star Tamim Iqbal. The iconic opener lauded Wasfia's pioneering feat and commended her courage at embarking on such a risky feat. “I request our young to come out and do something for the nation and for themselves” he stated.

Renowned social activist Khushi Kabir was also at the event and saluted Wasfia's efforts to bring Bangladeshi women on the map.

“Wasfia has created an example for all of us. Not just as a woman but also as a citizen of Bangladesh, conquering the seven summits is not an easy task,” said Kabir.

Wasfia had taken up the challenge to climb the Seven Summits on the eve of Bangladesh's 40th Independence to celebrate women's progress of the last four decades and highlight to the world the resiliency of our people.

“I want to show the world how far Bangladesh has come from just being a flood affected third world country,” said Wasfia yesterday.

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