Bangladesh: Lone Woman Shows Resilience by Peaking Summits

Bangladesh tops the 2010 global climate change risk index but its people are one of the most resilient nations to tackle the threat of global warming and rising seas.

Wasfia Nazreen, a rights activist and development worker quit her job to fulfill her dream to reach seven summits of the seven continents. She started preparations two years ago and she reached 300 meters to the summit of Mount Elbrus in Russia (Europe) in July 2011 and the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (Africa) in September 2011. She is now on the way to climb Mount Aconcagua in South America.

Wasfia will continue her expeditions in 2012 as she is set to conquer Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) in Asia, Vinson Massif in Antarctica, Mount McKinley (Denali) in North America and Carstensz Pyramidin in Oceania.

Wasfia Nazreen. Photo by Tanvir Murad Topu for Bangladesh On Seven Summits. Used with permission

Wasfia Nazreen. Photo by Tanvir Murad Topu for Bangladesh On Seven Summits. Used with permission

From the Facebook page of the Bangladesh on Seven Summits Foundation the effort is a tribute to 40 years of Bangladesh’s independence this year:

Bangladesh on Seven Summits is a tribute to those women and men, who, through sheer resolve, overcame enormous ordeal for the birth of our Nation.

Bangladesh on Seven Summits calls upon the international community to act urgently – to meet the drastic “Temperature Challenges” of Global Warming caused by the emissions of industrialized nations. In terms of magnitude, she is one of the most vulnerable countries to Climate Change. The climbs will highlight the resilience of the Bangladeshi peoples, who continue to adapt, confront and tenaciously survive, instead of being mere passive victims of natural disasters.

The world must listen to Bangladesh, and hear her across the heights of Kilimanjaro to Denali, Aconcagua to Sagarmatha.

Chaitanya Kumar at blog says:

Facing grave dangers of rising sea levels and erratic weather patterns, the country aims to adapt to the changing climate and that will require great reslience and courage. Calling it the temperature challenge, Wasfia is being the image of a resilient Bangladesh by facing extreme weather upon these peaks.

Close to the summit of Mount Elbrus with Bangladesh flag. Photo by Wasfia Nazreen. Used with permission

Close to the summit of Mount Elbrus with Bangladesh flag. Photo by Wasfia Nazreen. Used with permission

Wasfia is constantly engaging people with Facebook and Twitter to spread the campaign, raise funds and share updates about her journey.

Here are a few updates from Twitter:

@BDon7Summits: strange happenings at the #russianembassy. hopefully visa by sunday and off we go to Mt. Elbrus! #mtelbrus (23 Jun)

@BDon7Summits: We are still trying to track @wasfia. Updates soon. Fund raising continues (10 Jul)

@wasfia back to civilization, back to training! one toenail from a frost-bitten toe about to fall off. overwhelmed w all the solidarity messages (20 Jul)

Wasfia in Africa. Image from Bangladesh on Seven Summits's Facebook page.

Wasfia in Africa. Image from Bangladesh on Seven Summits's Facebook page.

@BDon7Summits all day yesterday & today with Doctors, doing #fitnesstraining. Follow up w reports again on Tuesday. Preparation for Kili continue (24 Jul)

@BDon7Summits Touch down in Moshi, Tanzania after missing flight/s, losing luggage, paying extra extra extra & a lot of drama!… (26 Sep)

@BDon7Summits 2nd Oct, 7:29am in #Tanzania, #Wasfia Nazreen reached the summit of #Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing…

Wasfia reflects in The Forum (A publication of the Daily Star) on her feat in reaching the highest peak of Africa:

Africa, as a continent is rising rapidly from the ashes of that past… just like us, Bangladeshis, they are resilient and proud people!

She continues:

Kili made me realise, once again, that the tides, the Moon that swoons, the Soul and the Mind who whisper… all are in essence, intricately interconnected. In principle there are a lot of ideas that feel amazing, but in execution, not many of us accomplish the emotional hurdles. Kili renewed my faith, once again, that all barriers, essentially, are in our minds only. Can we not walk the Earth with dignity towards all beings, and all women, including our sisters and mothers involved in this (sex) trade?

Please keep on following the Facebook page, and Twitter accounts @BDon7Summits & @wasfia for updates about the great journey.

Full-blown Sunrise over Patagonia © 2011 Wasfia Nazreen

Full-blown Sunrise over Patagonia © 2011 Wasfia Nazreen

@wasfia: “Mama i'm home again!” Full-blown #Sunrise over #Patagonia © 2011 wasfia nazreen #Aconcagua #Dec #expedition (Dec 3)

@wasfia: Almost 8:30pm, #Sunset over #Mendoza mountain ridge in the horizon… blowing my being away!! Would be neat to have a #home here!! Please. (Dec 4)


  • […] Bangladesh: Lone Girl Shows Resilience By Peaking Summits · Global Voices […]

  • Tanzia

    Hi Wasfia
    I have been following your work for quite sometime and wanted to let you know that I can only dream of the feeling you have had being on top of some of the world’s highest peaks. You have had the opportunity to see the world from a height, very few people have reached. And your work for Bangladesh leaves no words of praise untold. You make all Bangladeshi women so proud. Thank you for leading the way, and hope we can follow you.

  • Rahat Zaman

    Congratulations mam! Salute to you.

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