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Monday, July 22, 2024

Bangladeshi explorer who ‘visited 145’ countries reaches Gambia

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By Omar Bah

Kazi Asma Azmery, a tourist from Bangladesh, with an unquenchable thirst for exploration, has reached The Gambia. Her remarkable story unfolds as she recounts her travels to over 140 countries, an extraordinary feat for a young Bangladeshi Muslim woman. Initially, she only aspired to visit 50 countries, but as of this year, the number of countries she had explored across six continents surpassed 140.

Kazi Azmery spoke to The Standard, shedding light on various aspects of her worldwide journey which has sparked considerable interest.

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“The very concept of setting out to explore the world was not particularly pleasant because there is this perception in our country that Bangladeshi girls cannot travel. However, my position had always been, if boys can, why can’t girls?” she told The Standard.

Azmery said she started building confidence of doing things by her own way when she was very young.

“I was born in a Muslim family and there were too many restrictions for women. When I finished university and went to search for jobs, I realisd that boys are getting certain privileges that women could not get because of our gender and these things used to make me very upset. It was that time that I decided that I would move to Nepal to see the world,” she said.

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She said her visit to Nepal and unique experience motivated her to want to visit every other country in the world.

“When I retured to Bangladesh, I had an agreement with my father to visit fifty countries and then come back to Bangladesh and marry to a man he would choose for me. I started that adventure and when I completed the first fifty countries in Brazil, I returned but I refused to get married and I am still single. My plan is to settle down after visiting all the 193 countries on the world map,” she disclosed.

Azmery sold her jewelry for $5000 to fund her first trip to Nepal because her father had refused to support it. She completed her hundredth country in 2018.

“Now my family and other relatives are supporting me morally and encouraging me,” she said.

Gambia visit

Madam Azmery said she came to know about The Gambia when the country started defending the Rohingya Muslims.

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“When I heard about it, I was so impressed and during my few days here, I have come to realise that Gambians are very positive people and the issue of religion is not holding them back in anyway. Everybody is free to live your life and practice whatever religion you want to practice and Gambians do not also talk without a reason and their kindness and sense of humor really amazed me a lot,” she said.

During her stay, she visited the National Human Rights Commission, Bakau crocodile pool, markets and several other places.

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