Samina Baig, the first Pakistani woman to climb Everest, K2, and the Seven Summits: Keep going to achieve your goals

Samina Baig spoke at Aga Khan University’s (AKU) Faculty of Arts and Sciences Library series titled Beyond the Shelves.

Karachi, September 8, 2022: “Don’t be afraid of failures as you learn from them. Set your goals and keep going to achieve them,” said mountaineer Samina Baig while telling the story of her expedition to K2. Samina is the first Pakistani woman to summit K2 in July this year. 

Samina spoke to a packed audience comprising students, faculty and staff including young students from the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School. The session was moderated by Dr. Fozia Parveen, Assistant Professor at AKU’s Institute for Educational Development.

Samina Baig addressing participants at AKU

She [Samina] shared her inspiring mountaineering journey which started from her own native village Shimshal Valley in Hunza Gojal, Gilgit-Baltistan at a very young age. Her brother Mirza Baig was her trainer and mentor and accompanied Samina for many of her adventures.  Samina shared her previous experiences climbing the seven highest mountains in seven continents, which she summited, and the challenges encountered as each terrain was unique.
Samina’s first expedition to K2 was in 2015 but after suffering an injury while climbing, she was not able to make it to the top. Determined, she kept her hope alive and continued her training, and finally on July 22, 2022 she summited K2, the second highest peak in the world.

Samina Baig with host

Talking about the hardships in mountaineering, Samina said that it required immense commitment, passion and motivation. “It is a matter of life and death. One has to live away from home for months in severe weather conditions and it is not possible to persevere if one is not strong – mentally and physically. The key is never to lose hope and keep your mission at the forefront,” she said.

Samina strongly advocates for gender equality and women’s empowerment. During her talk, she strongly encouraged the young females to come forward to show the world that they can scale the highest peaks and conquer the world.

In his welcome remarks, AKU President Dr. Sulaiman Shahabuddin expressed that “[Samina] is a woman who punched a hole in that ceiling, climbed through it and kept on going, to the highest point on earth”.

Earlier opening the event, Dr. Anjum Halai, Vice Provost and Founding Dean of FAS informed the audience that this was the first in a series of events at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Library. This new library is more than just a space for reference material. It is a hub of academic activity, dialogue and reflection. She read a verse from Iqbal’s poetry referring to the youth as Shaheen (falcon) which soars high to achieve success and today we have such a Shaheen amongst us – Samina Baig – a role model for all.

News source: AKU Press release
About AKU
AKU is a pioneering institution of higher education whose mission is to improve the quality of life in the developing world and beyond, through world-class teaching, research and healthcare delivery. AKU educates students for local and global leadership from campuses and teaching hospitals in six countries, primarily in Asia and Africa. It generates new knowledge to solve problems that affect millions of people, especially the most vulnerable. The University is a private, not-for-profit institution and an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network.

More about AKU at

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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