LONDON – A Swedish runner crossed three Muslim-majority countries on foot, in a bid to experience Muslims and shari`ah law at first hand.
According to the Guardian, Kristina Paltén ran 1144 miles across Iran on her own, from Turkey to Turkmenistan, to challenge prejudice against Islam in her home country of Sweden and across Europe.
The journey took her two months. Despite of the rocky start, she found herself welcomed by a succession of friendly encounters, with free meals, gifts, and places to stay.
After the video was shared by the Guardian, and was viewed by more than 6.4 million, Paltén shared a message of openness and understanding on her website.
“I believe, that deep inside of us, our deepest need is belonginness. My run through Iran represents, in my mind, the simple, yet incredible beauty that happens when people meet. Or, as one family in whose home I slept, expressed it “I believe that inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. If people get the opportunity to show their good side, they become prosperous and create a better world around themselves… You became a bridge for people to get closer. If you, as an outsider, can trust us, we can also rely on each other and be graceful to each other,” she wrote.
“By having the courage to be vulnerable and hence meet, as the true person I am, we create trust, openness and belonginness. And that is where we create a beautiful, better world around ourselves.”