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From London to Makkah, Cycling for Hajj & Cause

JEDDAH – Approaching their final destination, two British Muslims riders arrived in Cairo in their journey from London to Makkah for hajj, during which they will cross more than 5000 kilometers.

“We started with more than 40 riders from London Olympic stadium to Paris, but now me and my friend Abdul Hannan are left to complete the journey to Makkah,” said Rashid Ali, who is a professional biker and has to cover approximately 5,000 kilometers.

To complete this distance, he targeted to cover 150 kilometers per day in a duration of 50 days, and a six-day rest respectively in their expedition to ride across 14 countries in two months to perform Hajj.

“From Egypt, we will come to Jeddah and reach our destination Makkah,” Ali told Al-Bilad newspaper earlier in August.

Their expedition has come along Paris, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, and will continue through Turkey, Egypt before reaching Saudi Arabia.

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“Cycling from London to Makkah has been a challenge, because it is for raising funds to rescue vulnerable children on the streets from Bangladesh and Pakistan,” he said. “We also want to rescue children from countries that are affected by war.”

He said their target is to raise £50,000 and they have already raised £14,000.

“This fund is raised via Muslim Charity. The aim is to raise a lot of money and awareness for ‘Our Children of the World’ campaign which encompasses all the vulnerable children projects around the world,” he said.

Muslim Charity is a leading international relief and development NGO that aims to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people, regardless of race, religion or gender.

Ali said that it had always been his dream to perform Hajj, and to realize the super power of cycling in him, he decided to combine the two.

“In this Hajj expedition, we have been facing hard rain, fierce sun, dry desert and excruciating inclines, only to save the children. However, I know in the end that if I can save only one child, this whole journey would be worthwhile,” he concluded.

Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Hajj consists of several rituals, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them.

Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.

Hajj is officially expected to fall this year between August 30 and September 4, with the climax falling on August 31 when the faithful descend the Mount `Arafat.

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