Afghanistan is a mountainous country. But only two Afghan men have ever made it to the country’s highest mountain.
Recently a group of Afghan women formed the first national climbing federation to train women for the sport.
Here at Afshar Mountain in Kabul, 23-year-old Sediqa Nooristani is leading her team of all-female climbers. They’re training to conquer the mountain of Hindukosh.
Sediqa is the founder and leader of Afghanistan’s first women climbers federation.
“Now our team has arrived at one of the mountains where the glacier is starting. In this exercise, the team is trying to climb Meersaid peak, which is 4800 meters above sea level,” Sediqa said.
10 women are registered in the women climbers federation. Most of them are teenagers and some already have experience in different mountain climbing events.
Farahnaz Karimi Nooristani has been dreaming of becoming a mountaineer since she first saw a story about mountain climbers on television. So far she has climbed different mountain peaks across the country.
“When you reach the top of the peak and see the whole place from there, it’s really wonderful. You can see the world!” she said.
But it’s not easy for women to start climbing, says Nargis Azaryoon. Due to security problems, women can’t go to some climbing spots that are located in suburban areas.
“With climbing, it can take more a week for the athlete to make camp in the mountain. So it’s not easy for us. Not to mention that our family might not let us to stay there for a few days,” Nargis said.
Back to the Afshar mountain…
Farhard Jamshid is the trainer of the Afghan women climbers. “Our women climbers are now ready for this. All of them are very enthusiastic about climbing. They will face challenges, but I’m sure they can handle that. They’re very passionate about this.””
As the leader of Afghan’s first women climber federation, Sediqa Nooristani is very proud of the team.
“With this sport, I want to show what Afghan women can do to the world. I wish to climb the Everest peak. But if I could not make it, I wish that one Afghan women will do it. And I will definitely listen to her trip to Everest!” Sediqa said.
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