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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Qatar cyclists embark on Europe tour to promote charity and sports

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Qatar Cyclists
Qatar Cyclists

Some 35 cyclists from Qatar will begin biking through five countries in Europe this Sunday to help raise more than $1 million to build a girl’s school in Gaza.

The initiative, part of Global Biking Initiative (GBI) Europe, involves cycling for one week, beginning in Venice, Italy and ending in Stuttgart, Germany, after passing through Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

This year, some 400 cyclists from around 20 countries will take up the challenge for a charity cause of their choice, while being backed by sponsors.

Qatar Sandstormers
Qatar Sandstormers

The Qatar-based group will cycle a distance of about 800km and up to a height of around 7,000m in the Alps, according to statement issued by Qatar Charity (QC), which is collaborating with the cyclists.

The team consist of two local groups; the Qatar Cyclists and Qatar Sandstormers. About 25 of the riders are Qatari and 10 are expats, according to a QC official.

They are being supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Qatar Airways, Vodafone, Qatar Gas, Amwaj, Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority and the Aspire Zone.

Local groups said they are also hoping to raise awareness of healthy initiatives in Qatar through the biking challenge.

Nasser Mohamed al-Yafei, executive director for local development at QC, previously said that the initiative aims to support “charity work and sports simultaneously, particularly within Qatari society, where there is a significant need to spread sports consciousness.”

Qatar’s residents have long struggled with obesity due to unhealthy eating habits and an inactive lifestyle.

Cyclists

Among those preparing for the trip is 36-year-old AbdulAziz Al Kuwari, an orthopedic surgeon at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) who is the captain and co-founder of Qatar Cyclists.

Speaking to Doha News, the Qatari said:

 ”We are proud to be participating in this charity event and to represent our country Qatar.”

He added that the cyclists’ ages range from 25 to 57 years old, including three who are over 50 years old.

AbdulAlziz  Al Kuwairi cycling in Qatar
AbdulAlziz Al Kuwairi cycling in Qatar

Al Kuwari said that although his profession is demanding and requires long working hours, he insisted on finding time to train for the GBI and has been cycling about six to eight hours a week since January.

Though he has only been cycling for three years, Al Kuwari said he loves trying new things.

He added that sometimes he worries that he “won’t be able to complete the challenge, but by God’s will I will do it.”

The father of three said his wife was very supportive and proud of his participation in GBI, “as I had to sacrifice a lot of my time with the family to be able to take part in it.”

Speaking to Doha News, Hamed Alaa Eldin, Qatar Charity’s director of community and partnership, said that the participants are paying part of their expenses from their own pockets.

So far, the cyclists have managed to raise QR500,000 ($137,347). They aim to obtain the full amount of QR5.38 million ($1,477,908) to build the school within three year’s time, according to a QC statement.

The school

The girl’s high school will be built in the Al Shaimaa area, north of Gaza, and will cater to 1,920 students who live in Beit Lahia areas and the Bedouin village in Gaza, QC said.

Mt. Kilimanjaro
Mt. Kilimanjaro

There have been many charity events in Qatar in recent years to raise money for the besieged Gaza Strip, including an initiative by 12 young Qataris to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro last year to raise money for the territory’s education system.

Gaza has been the target of several Israeli bombing campaigns since Hamas wrested power from rival faction Fatah in 2007.

During the most recent offensive last summer, more than 2,200 Palestinians were killed and more than 96,000 homes were damaged, according to Al Jazeera. And the education system also suffered millions of dollars worth of setbacks.

Al Kuwari said he supported raising money for education in Gaza because “Gaza has a special place in our hearts…and schools in Gaza are not only used for education, but they are also used as shelters and hospitals.”

Those interested in contributing to the cause can donate through Qatar Charity’s website page, or send a text message with the word “Cycling” or “Gaza” to 92632 to donate QR50 and to 92642 to donate QR100. QC can also be reached by phone at 44667711.

Updates on the cyclists’ tour can be found on Qatar Cyclists and Qatar Sandstormers Twitter accounts and on QC‘s various social media channels.

Thoughts?

26 COMMENTS

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The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago

I have no love for Israel with their illegal occupation of foreign land and blockade of Palestine – but please lets have some balanced reporting and mention the constant rocket attacks that are launched into Israel.

Giovanni
Giovanni
5 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

So I can rape a women, but she’s not allowed to resist. LUCK FOGIC!

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  Giovanni

The analogy is misplaced. Neither side is blameless in this endless series of tat-for-tat exchanges, and all it achieves is to give Israel an enemy and so justify it’s misguided western support. My point was on balanced reporting, not the rights and wrongs of the conflict.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

The balanced reporting follows what is right and wrong. Would you, for the sake of balanced reporting, give the same compassionate media coverage to rapists and victims alike?
On a side note, his comparison is spot on, but to be more accurate, Palestine was not raped by Israel. It was gang raped by Israel and the international community (mostly Europeans and the US aka Great Satan).

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

And don’t forget all the Arab governments that effectively abandoned them and cut side deals. Pretty much everyone sold out the Palestinians.

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago
Reply to  Giovanni

U mean Israel is the Rappist right

Giovanni
Giovanni
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Yes, who would think otherwise?

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago

The mind of an expat in Qatar

Hmmmm

Cycling … Charity… Girls school… Qataris one of whom is surgeon … Damn it… Hmmm … Ah got it !!

How posh they’re doing it in Europe so typical …

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

The mind of some Qataris on Doha News: What no expats are complaining? Whatever else will I post about? Ah got it! I’ll make up something I think they might be thinking and then I’ll criticize them for that. Because why would I say something relevant when I can just make xenophobic comments instead. 🙂

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
5 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

actually they’re are expats complaining here lol

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago

I posted too soon 🙁

But, in fairness, I blame A_qtr for provoking 😉

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Too bad your fellow expats don’t share the same sentiment … Case in point the comments above and below yours

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

Lucky there are no women taking part or Vodafone would pull sponsorship half way through

Scarletti
Scarletti
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

i think you are mistaken – Go Wajeeha !

Ali
Ali
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I see four women in Qatar Sandstormers group.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Ali

I hope they are wearing a full abaya to protect themselves from lustfull Europeans and they cycle behind the men in the group

Scarletti
Scarletti
5 years ago

great effort guys, (and girls) …. enjoy !

Enceladus
Enceladus
5 years ago

I bet they will find mostly respect on trip through Europe as bicycle riders. Maybe next time they can just claim for proper places to ride a bicycle in Doha. Several bike tracks (some of them of recent construction) in a deplorable condition. Of course always better than trying to ride on the road (like I do at times) and take the risk of being killed.

desertCard
desertCard
5 years ago
Reply to  Enceladus

If there’s not a land cruiser already on the bike trail you might survive

Observant One
Observant One
5 years ago

I can see knees – Please reflect your respect when riding guys. ;-0

Observant One
Observant One
5 years ago

Excellent work …well done….guys and girls…kudos to you for your efforts and cause, hold your head high.

Whatever
Whatever
5 years ago

Great way to support a worthy cause. Good luck to all taking part.

‘The Qatar-based group will cycle a distance of about 800km and up to a height of around 7,000m in the Alps, according to statement issued by Qatar Charity (QC), which is collaborating with the cyclists.’

DN one small detail, I would love to know where the cyclists will be climbing up to 7,000m in the alps?

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago

A great cause and a great way to tackle the obesity problem in Qatar.

“Al Kuwari said that although his profession is demanding and requires long working hours, he insisted on finding time to train for the GBI and has been cycling about six to eight hours a week since January.”

It’s this sort of dedication to fitness more people in Qatar need.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
5 years ago

“up to a height of around 7,000 m in the Alps..” I wonder how they can do that when the highest mountain in the Alps, the Mont Blanc, is 4, 808 m high?? – Let’s call it ‘thorough journalism’. Or, maybe they will climb 20 ‘mountains’ each 350 meters high?

Bingo
Bingo
5 years ago

best part of DN is the comments section, most of the times i don’t see the report at all…..

Lisa Clayton
Lisa Clayton
5 years ago

It’s a great initiative thanks to the Qataris and expats involved. Hard to imagine that anyone can find something to complain about with a charitable initiative like this. Chill people!

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