Dubai: A Dubai-based Pakistani adventurer and artist, Namira Salim, has planted the UAE and Pakistan flags at the South Pole after enduring extreme cold weather.
Namira is the first Pakistani female resident of the UAE to conquer both the North and South Poles. She is also the first Pakistani to reach both poles.
At the South Pole, Namira and her expedition received an extensive tour of the Amundsen-Scott Station, a US research centre, from where she sent post cards to her family and friends.
She will bring back South Pole souvenirs and a South Pole teddy bear for her young niece, Inaya.
"The temperature at the bottom of the world was minus 26.4 degrees Celsius and the temperature inclusive of the windchill factor was minus 39.5 degrees Celsius," she told Gulf News by telephone from the Ice Camp.
She reached the North Pole on April 21, 2007.
From 90 degrees south Namira said: "With the world above, one has so much to look forward to. It's freezing summer here and thus it is 24-hour daylight in this crystal white desert of snow and hills. I am very proud to be the first female UAE resident to hoist the national flag at the South Pole, along with my universal peace flag 'Peace-Making with Nation-Souls'."
She said her expedition to the South Pole was more challenging than her North Pole expedition as she faced extreme weather conditions, risks of oxygen depletion in the body, dangers of windchill and severe solar radiation.
"On a more personal level, I undertook this risky expedition to honour my beloved father and his heroic life and above all, his discipline which is the secret of all his success. And I want to thank my entire family for allowing me to follow my dreams," said Namira, who lives in Emirates Hills in Dubai.
In a statement, Asif Ali Zardari congratulated Namira on her successful expedition and for becoming the first Pakistani woman to achieve the milestone.
He said the late Benazir Bhutto had always worked for the emancipation of women and the Pakistan People's Party would carry her mission forward.