Dubai: She wants to inspire the youth to explore the world and not be fazed by boundaries. Having undertaken expeditions to the North and South poles and Mount Everest, Namira Salim is no stranger to adventure. The long-time UAE resident's outlook on life now finds expression in a documentary film Beyond the Poles.
The film was part of a film and photographic exhibition intended to capture the beauty and emotion evoked by her challenging expeditions.
The exhibition and the film screening were held on Thursday at the Westin Hotel in Dubai under the patronage of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, and Chairman of Dubai Airports.
Namira, who took up the bill for both the exhibition and the documentary out of her strong belief in the inherent message, is a Dubai-based artist and adventurer. She is the first woman from Pakistan and the first Asian to skydive over Mount Everest from a height of 8,993.9 metres. She is also the first Pakistani woman to reach both the North and South poles.
She was also the first woman to sign up as an astronaut when business tycoon Sir Richard Branson announced his Virgin Galactic space programme.
She has also held solo exhibitions at the United Nations General Assembly, Unesco's executive board meeting in Paris and the Saarc summit in Pakistan.
Jameel Ahmad Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE, and Consul-General Tariq Iqbal Soomro were among the guests at the inaguration of the exhibition and the subsequent screening of Beyond the Poles in Dubai.
Speaking on the occason, Ambassador Khan said: "The activities of Namira are a benchmark for the female youth of South Asia and the Gulf. Given the usual stereotypes associated with women of the region, Namira's daring adventures resonate with energy which inspires the female population to explore beyond boundaries. They set a tone for the youth to tap the power of their potential."
"Namira's achievements speak volumes for Pakistani women who are playing an important role in protecting their country's true image abroad through their contributions," he added.
Consul General Soomro said Namira's daring spirit had inspired women and youth to excel in all walks of life.
"Her peace expeditions to the three poles [South and North poles and Mount Everest] of the world are truly reflective of the peaceful spirit of Pakistanis and that of the empowered women of Pakistan." he said.
Students from leading educational institutions of the UAE comprised a big section of the visitors to the exhibition.
Namira told Gulf News at the exhibition, which was attended by a large number of people of various nationalities living in the UAE, that the sheer euphoria and excitement of being where very few had gone before was tough to capture in words.
"I used the mediums of film and photography to share and hopefully inspire the local community in which I grew up. I am greatly honoured to hold this event under the patronage of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, whose exemplary journey in the aviation industry is a great source of inspiration for me," Namira said.
The exhibition which is open to the public from 10am to 10pm concludes today.