(Image source from: The WAU)
The two Indian men’s idea of traveling to Saudi Arabia amid the month of Ramadan is something out of the ordinary and adventurous.
The 53-year-old Muhammed Saleem and his friend, 42-year-old Rizwan Ahmad Khan, the plan is to reach Mecca by July 25, on their cycles and the two have already reached United Arab Emirates (UAE) following a 3,800 km long route over a six-month cycling adventure under the sun while fasting for Ramadan.
The two even lost their bicycles once on their way, as per a report by Khaleej Times. "Our bicycles got lost on our ferry boat ride from Bandar Abbas to the UAE. I was a little frustrated because it was the first day of fasting and it was too hot," Saleem was quoted as saying.
The duo has already crossed three international borders during their journey. As for the distance covered by the two cyclists, Saleem and Khan have already pedaled almost 1300 km in India, 700 to 800 km in Oman, and 1700 km in Iran. Originally, the two planned to cycle their way through India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, taking no other means of transportation during the journey.
The report suggests that the two dropped the original plan as the visas for Pakistan and Iran were not easily available. “We decided to pedal to Oman, fly to Tehran and pedal all the way to Bandar Abbas (Iran), and then go through the UAE to Saudi Arabia”, Saleem told the Khaleej Times.
The new route also resulted in a shorter distance to Mecca. What was originally a 9,000 km trip was then cut down to 6,300 km. Up till UAE, Saleem and Khan are almost halfway to their destination, having covered a total of 3,800 km already. The two Indians aim to reach Haj by July 25 in time for Haj, which is scheduled to start on August 9.
This is not the first of such trips for Saleem, who has been cycling for 35 years now and is a three-time state champion in India.
By Sowmya Sangam