UAE: Indian man on a 15,000km cycle ride to spread the message of peace

Ahmed Sabith reaches UAE on his trip from India to Egypt's Al Azhar University, covering 11 countries

Ahmed Sabith. — Supplied photo

SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 2:34 PM

At just 21, Ahmed Sabith has taken up the unique challenge of cycling for over 15,000 kilometres to reach Egypt’s Al Azhar University, known for Islamic learning and higher studies. On his journey of nearly 200 days, Sabith wants to propagate the message of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for humanity and peaceful sustenance.

On his bicycle, he is on a mission to cover nearly 11 countries on two continents, including India, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

Throughout his journey, Sabith aims to study and learn about the local traditions of every country. “I have always been thrilled about learning about various cultures. I am sure I will witness more cultural diversity on this expedition,” he said.

Ahmed Sabith in front of the Museum of the Future in Dubai.

A resident of Bantawal near Mangalore in Karnataka, India, Sabith started his journey from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on October 20, 2022. He cycled across the Western Ghats in India, and reached Mumbai in two months. From Mumbai, he travelled to Salalah, journeying towards the Hatta border through Nizwa and Sohar in Oman. On January 27, he reached UAE’s Hatta border covering 4,000km on the bicycle. “There were a lot of people at the border to welcome me. But the special of all was the welcome by the nature. It rained as I entered the UAE,” said Sabith.

On an average, Sabith rides 70 to 100 kilometres daily for 6 to 8 hours. “Back in India, people following me on my social media handles welcomed me and provided accommodation at their place. It was not that difficult,” said Sabith mentioning that he is well equipped with a tent, a gas stove, and extra clothing.

When Sabith arrived in the UAE, he has been receiving a warm welcome everywhere. “People who see my cycle walks up to me and inquire about my journey,” said Sabith.

Sabith is staying with his cousins in Karama and is scheduled to continue his journey in the next few days. He will ride towards Abu Dhabi and will reach the Saudi Arabian border in seven days. “I will then visit Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait before moving towards Makkah to perform my Umrah,” said Sabith.

After his holy pilgrimage and visit to the historical sites in Madinah, Sabith plans to ride towards Jordan, Palestine, Israel, and then to his university in Egypt. Sabith has memorized the Holy Quran and is undertaking a course in translation. “I have got admission to a one-year course in the most renowned university. I wanted the journey to be special, and cycling to the University was my childhood dream,” said Saibth.

Self-sponsored trip

Since an early age, Sabith has been collecting money for this expedition. “I used to earn a handsome during the holy months of Ramadan. I did not spend much of the amount, and I am using it for this dream trip,” said Sabith.

The total cost of the trip is nearly one million Indian Rupees (Dh44,000 approx) and he carries over 20kg. “I have spent nearly a quarter of my money. This bicycle costs Rs150,000 (Dh6,600 approx). Until now, I did not pay for my food or accommodation,” said Sabith.

Sabith is documenting his trip on his social media handles with the name ‘Sabi inspires’, which has garnered 140,000 subscribers on YouTube and 108,000 followers on Instagram.

SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 2:34 PM

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