First Arab world woman arrived in Pakistan to summit K2
By Zahid Shah
ISLAMABAD: A first Arab world woman mountaineer arrived in Pakistan to summit the world's second-highest mountain K2.
Speaking with the Arab News, a Lebanese mountaineer born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Nelly Attar said she wants to summit K2 and inspire women in Pakistan and across the world.
According to the Arab News, she is also the founder of the Move Studio, Saudi Arabia’s first dance studio.
Nelly Attar started her career as a mental health professional to focus on sports and epeditions and in 2020 the Muslim Women Network named her “One of the Top Influential Women in Sports,” while Sports 360in 2019 called her the “Female Fitness Influencer of the Year Across the GCC,” the report said.
Attar had scaled 15 other peaks around the world before setting her sights on K2.
“I am embarking on the most challenging journey to climb K-2 on June 20 [today],” Attar told Arab News in an interview in Islamabad last week. “I feel like there's so much unknown, there's so much to this journey that we will be embarking on, so I'm very excited.”
At 8,611 metres (28,251 foot), K2, known as the Savage Mountain, is widely considered the most dangerous climb in the world due to its difficult terrain and treacherous weather. Fewer than 20 women globally have summited K2 and for about every five people who have reached the top of the mountain, one has died in the process, according to the Saudi media outlet.
In 2014, three Nepali women led the first all-female team to climb what most mountaineers consider a much tougher challenge than Everest.
Attar said she had been thinking about climbing K2 for the last three years but her father's passing last year had sparked the urge to execute her dream on his first death anniversary.
“It was a very difficult time for me and I was just thinking how can I find the purpose of this year that would give a bit of drive and excitement, so, I started work on the idea of K2,” she said.
“I am not afraid, no matter what happens…I have big faith that Allah is always with us and never leaves us and has the best plans for us,” the climber said, urging other Arab and Pakistani women to pursue their dreams.
“They can do it, regardless of the challenges that they're faced with, regardless of the limitations, they can do it,” she said. “Nothing, and no one should stop you. If you have a vision, if you have a dream, go and achieve that dream … Don't use your circumstances as an excuse, use them as your reason to go forward.”