Dubai expats come together to run for peace

It was a casual 5km run around Dubai Marina Walk and it was a show of solidarity and having a moment of contemplation while running together

by

Angel Tesorero

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Sun 12 Nov 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 12 Nov 2023, 10:45 PM

A group of Dubai residents of various nationalities have come together to dedicate their weekend to run for peace.

It was a casual 5km run around Dubai Marina Walk. There was no political colour and no political message – just a show of solidarity and having a moment of contemplation while running together, the runners told Khaleej Times.

One obvious motivation for the group is to call for peace and immediate humanitarian relief to civilians in Gaza, that has been under heavy Israeli bombardment for over a month.

“We usually come together on weekends to run as a form of social bonding and to keep our bodies fit. But this time, we cannot help but contemplate: While we run for health, there are many people – young and old – who are literally running for their lives,” Michelle, 36, from the Philippines, said.

“Here, we have the luxury to run along a palm tree-lined path; but in conflict-stricken areas, people have nowhere else to run to survive,” she added.

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“Our theme for the run was ‘Run for Tolerance, Run for Peace’. We are calling for peace and an end to hostilities,” noted Michelle, adding: “Personally for me, running helps me become more resilient to problems, issues, personal and social conflicts. What we are seeing now is violence. We should promote peace, love and tolerance,” Michelle continued.

Another runner, Israa Sharaf, 38, from Sudan, shared a broader context why she joined the run. She said: “I run for everyone who can't. I run for social justice. No one is more worthy of sympathy or support.”

“I run for all the voices that aren't heard. I run for single mothers around the globe. I run for my children and all children. I run because I still can. I run for Sudan. I run for Palestine,” Israa underscored.

The group said they will continue to have casual runs on weekends as a show of solidarity to people in Palestine. Other runners who joined the group came from Dominican Republic, Kenya, Jordan, Moldova, Russia, Spain, Pakistan and Egypt.

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