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Meet Msia’s First All-Female Antarctic Exploration

Meet Msia’s First All-Female Antarctic Exploration

Make way Elsa, cuz these Malaysian “ice queens” are here to claim the throne!

Malaysia’s first All Women Expedition to Antarctica (AWETA) has officially set foot on the frozen continent on Sunday (December 22).

AWETA’s four-woman team is made up of 31-year-old pharmacist Nurul Atiqah Tamarun, 33-year-old Ministry of Home Affairs officer Salehah Abu Nor, 34-year-old army corporal Siti Jumaidah Bensali, and polar adventurer, Dr Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir who is the team leader and pioneer of the antarctic mission.

Dr Sharifah Mazlina (right) together with Siti Jumaidah Bensali, Salehah Abu Nor and Nurul Atiqah Tamarun.
(Credit: Facebook via All Women Expedition to Antarctica – AWETA)

Hand-picked by Dr Sharifah herself, the team had been training for the mission since 2017.

The team prepping for their treacherous trip.
(Credit: Facebook via All Women Expedition to Antarctica – AWETA)

The expedition team is set on a month-long journey from December till January 2020 to explore the South pole and retrieve a time capsule which has been buried in the Antarctic snow for 14 years by Dr Sharifah during her first solo mission to the icy continent.

First Asian woman to explore the Poles

A legend in her own right, Dr Sharifah is credited as the first Asian woman to have ever journeyed to both the South and North pole.

FUN FACT: The Arctic is another name for the North Pole and the Antarctic refers to the South Pole. The Arctic is ocean surrounded by land while the Antarctic is land surrounded by ocean.

The 54-year-old adventurer made her first solo trip to Antarctica in 2004, where she boldly ski-sailed for more than 1,000 km across the icy planes.

Dr Sharifah in her ski-sailer and a sled full of supplies.
(Credit: Tokoh)

Then in 2007, the daring doctor made yet another record-breaking journey exploring the freezing Arctic North Pole on foot.

Footage from Dr Sharifah’s solo track accross the Antarctic.
(Credit: Screenshot via YouTube @AWETA 2019)

The frozen frontier

Antarctica is a land of extremes. Since it was first discovered in the 1800s, Antarctica’s vast territory has been primed for human exploration and globally recognised as an area for scientific research.

Antarctica and its main inhabitants, penguins.
(Credit: melissa2760 via Pixabay)

Known as the coldest place on the planet, temperatures on this icy continent can plummet to -97°C with chilling winds blowing across its frozen, desolated land at up to 200km/h.

The continent has piqued the interest of the scientific community over the past few years as the global Climate Crisis is currently melting the region’s ice at an unprecedented rate.

If you’d like to find out more about AWETA’s journey through the frozen Antarctic, you can check out their official Facebook page for the expedition’s mission updates, or send them your love through the comments on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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