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Joining a list of just 56 other recipients, Rab athlete Nasim Eshqi has been presented the King Albert I Memorial Award, given in recognition of those “persons or institutions who have rendered exceptional, sustainable services in connection with the mountains of the world.”

Established in 1993, the King Albert I Memorial Foundation was created to honour King Albert I, who, as well as being the King of Belgium, was also a passionate alpinist. From climbers and mountaineers to scientists, artists and even doctors specialising in high-altitude medicine, the main criteria for the attribution of the Award are freedom, ethical and responsible conduct and respect for the alpine environment. The Foundation describes winners as having all made “an important contribution towards preserving the mountains as a majestic, beautiful and safe place – as a living environment for mountain people, a leisure environment for mountaineers and as a heritage of our world.”

Nasim was presented the award for demonstrating remarkable willpower, courage and strength.

“Nasim Eshqi surpasses her own limitations on rock as well as those set by the environment. She gained recognition on the international climbing scene and is a source of inspiration for young athletes worldwide.

To her best performances belong some of the hardest routes in Iran like ‘Mr Nobody’ (8b+), ‘Pink Panther’ (8b), ‘Iran-Swiss’ (8a+) or the multi-pitch route ‘A girl for all seasons’ (7b). She opened the last one and many other difficult lines in numerous countries. Polyvalent, she has a liking for traditional climbing and for sharing her knowledge with next-generation climbers.”

King Albert I Memorial Foundation

Nasim, explains how it felt to win the award:

“When I got the email inviting me to the award ceremony, I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had to read it several times. It wasn’t until the moment I was on the stage for the award, I finally believed I was not dreaming.

I feel very happy that my love for the mountains and my work brought me to this point. It’s such an honour. I am completely overwhelmed.

The Albert Mountain Award is dedicated to all mountain people. I believe that we, as mountain people, are all connected. Even though I felt alone most of the times on my way, now I could see that I am not alone. Because we are all mountain people.

I would like to say thanks to the board of the King Albert I Memorial Foundation for choosing me as one of the award winners. I will continue my way with more energy and power then ever before.”

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