Muslim women scale Everest

Category: Asia, Life & Society, Women Topics: Women Views: 6360

On Monday May 30, 2005, two Iranians became the first Muslim women to conquer Mount Everest as the early season expedition took advantage of a rare weather window to reach the world's highest summit. 

Farkhondeh Sadegh, 36, a graphic designer, and Loleh Keshavarz, 26, a dentist, hoisted their country's tricoloured flag on the summit together with six Iranian men at 10:45am local time yesterday. 

"It's fantastic," Mohammad Hajabolfath, the editor of Iran Mountain Zone, a website for climbers, told The Scotsman. 

"It is a very big thing for women in Iran. Because of weather conditions, most climbers here expected to hear the Iranian team would be returning unsuccessfully." 

The 21-strong Iranian team, including seven women, arrived in Nepal in mid-March but their expedition, like many others on Everest, was hampered by treacherous weather. 

The window of opportunity for a final push had become ever narrower in recent days with the approach of the monsoon season. 

A huge avalanche earlier this month caused havoc for the team which had been forced lower down the mountain by snowstorms. 

"We opened the tent to see what had happened but a great deal of snow came into our tent," a gloomy dispatch sent to EverestNews.com recently said. 

"We are in base camp now and waiting for good weather to climb," the report ended. 

It is 30 years since Junko Tabai, a diminutive Japanese housewife who weighed just 7 stone, became the first woman to scale Everest. 

A men's team from the Islamic republic first scaled Everest in 1998. 

Mountaineering, long popular with Iranian men, has gained enthusiasts among Iranian women, along with golf, skiing and even paragliding - activities in which the need to keep the body well covered is not a serious hindrance to performance. 

Some 69 women responded when the Iran Mountaineering Federation threw down the Everest gauntlet last year. 

That number was whittled down by a series of gruelling elimination tests in Iran, which is home to Mount Damavand, a dormant, snow-covered volcano. At 18,605ft, it is the Middle East's highest peak and more than four times the height of Ben Nevis. 

The Everest success will raise even further the profile of women's sports in Iran which have surged in recent years. 

Earlier this year, Iran hosted the All Women Games for Muslim and Asian Capitals.

 

Source: Scotsman


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  11 Comments   Comment

  1. Hudd d'Aelia from Great North

    Perhaps, Abdulazziz, perhaps..., however my very witty br Abdulazziz, behold your previous comment:

    "Interesting how climbing a mountain is NEWS with today's UMMAH.

    How about getting the sisters in the land of Muhammad ( saw ) dirvers permits so they can drive a car?

    What a shame the things we are proud of and the things we feel no shame about."

    Regardless of the fact that you didn't mention Islam, still you are an Islam basher because you suggest the undermining of the authority of the Ummah. If you want to do away with the Ummah your Islam is questionable. What would you replace the Ummah with? American soldiers? Then you ask about the sisters in Saudia that are not allowed to drive. You are not in the position to question that. Those are the Saudi laws, whoever doesn't like them is free to leave to a place where other laws are in state. My country allows same sex marriages and the possession of small amounts of marijuana as well as prostitution and pornography. I believe that these are greater issues to deal with than women not allowed to drive. The social system of Saudia is different, a women is not compelled to drive great distances to her workplace to toil for the system and insuccessfully try to make ends meet having to raise as a single mother one or more children.

    Maybe my 11 years old should teach you some social skills and a bit of Islamic knowledge.

    Salam!

  2. mohammad sarfaraz khan from India

    Is it in the way of Allah? Is it a value added performance? What it gives to the humanity? In Allah's eyes feeding a hungry person is more value added work than climbing the Everest. Leave such work for unbelievers and try to grab the opportunity to serve the bodily,as well as, spritually wounded humanity. The cry is from every nook and corner of the world. Allah will never ask you whether you had been on Everest or not but He will definitely punish us for turning a deaf ear to the ailing humanity. I afraid that one day we will celebrate for a Muslim women crowned the 'Miss World or Miss Universe'. We should definitely fill our heart, mind and spirit with our past Golden Memory with a sense to repeat the tradition. But nobody is going to be convinced to take you at the face value for the deeds of your forefathers. I see hurricane all around. We must see for an anchor. We should not hesitate to adopt the things which are not contary to Quran & Sunnah, rather if it helps to establish it. Knowledge is must to guide us. May Allah lead us to 'Siratal Mustaquim". Sarfaraz

  3. abdulazziz from usa

    Salaam-

    Hudd d'Aelia, please read my comments again.

    I never of Islam....I did however mention our UMMAH.

    Islam is perfect, it's YOU and I who are flawed as is evident in this discussion.

    Perhaps you should have your 11 yr old do your reading for you 🙂

    Salaam

  4. Amina-Mariam from UK

    Now i'm definitely temepted! I might try Golf and Archery first thought.

    MashAllah to them

  5. Hudd d'Aelia from Great North

    How pathetic abdulazziz. How very pathetic. First let me explain to you things that my 11 years old very well understands.

    1) There is no government in the world that represents Islam in its absoluteness. Just as there is no government in the world that would represent democracy as such. Considering these you cannot point to a Muslim ruled government and say, this is Islam. If this would be true, how come that Muslims fight the Muslim governments in Egypt, Syria, Algeria,etc? Think, brother, think!

    2)Islam is in the Quran, Hadith, and the works of the great scholars along the history. Muslims and especially governments like, republics, kingdoms, what the Muslim countries apply are not the representatives of the absolute Islam, or true Islam, if you will. Governments nare ruled by people that are not identical neither in thinking or DNA. Thus some or many of these people(not only in Muslim countries) are prone to misinterpret, err or even corrupt. Only because such people are Muslims and fill in a great office, it doesn't mean that they are prophets, rasheeds or infallible subjects!

    3)Whatever good or right is performed by any human, Muslim or not, we as Muslims are bound by our religion to recognize it and act in the light of the respect it demands. Are you one of those that try to put the shadows across the winner? Get back, Satan, the two women did it, bully for them and may Allah cause them to pass more human barriers for the record! What Saudia does or any other country in the world is irrelevant to the success of these women and yes, they are Muslim, alhamdulillah. A woman is free and emancipated by the great religion of Islam. It is men in Muslim countries that did not read that part of the Quran and hadith. Didn't it happen to you that you were hired in a new place in your trade but the people their treated you like you were a complete idiot when your expertise was greater than theirs? This is what happens to knowledgeable Muslims in the West.

  6. proud_2_b_muslim from Canada

    Muslim women make a diffrence in this WORLD!!!

  7. abdulazziz from usa

    Salaam-

    Interesting how climbing a mountain is NEWS with today's UMMAH.

    How about getting the sisters in the land of Muhammad ( saw ) dirvers permits so they can drive a car?

    What a shame the things we are proud of and the things we feel no shame about.

    Salaam

  8. Nuraini from Malaysia

    Go Iran! Muslim women have interests and hobbies too, even including extreme sports.

  9. Ian Hosein from Canada

    ..

    There are millions of muslim mothers, not climbing mountains, but raising the next generation of muslims.

    We should be heralding them.

    They are climbing towards the true summit. This is the feat that should truly bring awe, respect, and admiration to one's heart.

  10. Kashif Shaikh from Canada

    Assalamua'alaikum,

    Nice and healthy sport in which women can maintain their modesty of covering. Very encouraging developing for female and male sports among Muslims.

    Wassalam

  11. Shama Khalil from Hong Kong

    It's a news to them, who say MUSLIM WOMEN are supressed and kept under tight control by the MUSLIM MENFOLK.