Hafsa Al Ulama showing UAE flag at the Mount Kilimanjaro summit. - Gulf News Archives

Today in History

August 21

1808 British forces defeat French at Vimiero, Portugal.

1917 German forces attack Russians on the Latvian front in World War I.

1936 The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) makes its first television broadcast.

1943 Gromyko named USSR-ambassador in Washington.

1959 Hawaii becomes 50th state of United States.

1963 Buddhists are arrested and martial law is imposed in South Vietnam.

1975 US lifts 12-year ban on exports to Cuba, but embargo on direct trade between Cuba and US remains in effect.

1979 More than 50 people are killed in Thailand’s worst train crash in Bangkok suburb.

1980 US and Somalia sign an agreement giving US naval and air forces access to military facilities in the East African country in return for American military aid.

1983 Philippines’ opposition leader Benigno Aquino is assassinated at Manila airport.

1985 Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto returns from exile in Europe to receive heroine’s welcome in her home town.

1986 More than 17,000 people die when toxic gas erupts from a volcanic lake in Cameroon.

1988 Nearly 1,000 people are killed and more than 10,000 are injured in a sever earthquake that hit India and Nepal.

1995 A bomb rips apart a bus during morning rush hour in Jerusalem, killing five people and injuring more than 100.

2002 Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf unveils constitutional changes giving him power to dismiss parliament.

2004 A series of bombs explode at an opposition rally in Bangladesh’s capital, killing at least 14 people and injuring hundreds.

2006 At least 58 dead, 143 injured after two commuter trains collide north of Cairo

2007 Hurricane Dean, the strongest hurricane to hit the Atlantic region since 1988, crashes into the Mexican coast.

2008 Masdar ground breaking for the first photovoltaic production plant takes place in Ichtershausen, Germany.

2010 Iran becomes the second nuclear-capable country in the Middle East when it begins fuelling its first nuclear power plant in defiance of international sanctions.

2013 US soldier Bradley Manning is sentenced to 35 years in prison for giving classified military and diplomatic documents to the anti- secrecy group WikiLeaks.

2014 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan names Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as his successor as prime minister.



First Emirati woman Hafsa conquers Kilimanjaro

Hafsa Al Ulama has become the first Emirati woman to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa and one of the ‘Seven Summits’ of the world. Hafsa conquered the 19,340 feet-high peak. She started her expedition to the mountain, sponsored by Dubai Media City, with a team that included 10 Americans and a Palestinian woman. On the way, they had to endure extreme weather conditions. By the second day of the climb, the temperature dropped below zero, plummeting to as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius by Day 6. They also had to face fierce winds and storms throughout Day 3, only to face the same harsh conditions again on Day 5. “I am absolutely thrilled at reaching the top of Mount Kilimanjaro,” said an elated Hafsa, speaking over the phone from the summit. She hopes that her efforts will inspire other Emiratis, especially women, to take up similar mountaineering challenges, just as she was inspired by the feats of two previous UAE mountaineers.