History in the making: Muslim Charity’s ‘London to Makkah’ cyclists reach Istanbul, Turkey 

THE JOURNEY SO FAR

Rashid Ali and Abdul Hannan have set off on a journey of a lifetime cycling from London to Makkah, Saudi Arabia in a record 56 days.

The journey started on 1st July from the Olympic Park, London, along with another 40 riders who travelled with them to Paris.

So far they have travelled through England, France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece. They have clocked up an incredible 3,000 km which is about 3 million peddles and climbing an elevation of 75,000 ft. To put that into perspective, that is double the height of what a 747 jumbo aeroplane would be flying at.
But this is just half way. The total trip will see them cycle 5,700 km averaging 150 km per day. Earlier today, they arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, to mark another milestone in their journey.

The next leg will see them conquer the scenic route from Istanbul to Antalya and then the harsh terrain and heat of the Sahara in Egypt. Their final destination is Makkah, Saudi Arabia, where they will be just in time for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

They have a target of £100,000 that they have already raised £54,000.

BACKGROUND

The lead cyclist Rashid Ali has only been cycling for 2 years after a spur of the moment decision to cycle from London to Cambridge as part of a charity challenge. From that day on, Rashid as part of a team has raised a huge amount of money for projects around the world including a recent health and education centre in Panchaghar, Bangladesh.

Rashid is the Community Engagement Officer at Muslim Charity and will be completing this challenge for the ‘Children of the World’ campaign.

Abdul Hannan is a youth mentor and an amateur boxer who just took up cycling a few months ago. The transition has been hard especially with the amount of mileage and also learning a new sport.

The third man in this trio is Shubo Hussain who is supporting the brothers in the support vehicle. He is managing all of the logistics and ensuring the brothers are following the correct route and remain safe.

THE CAUSE

Muslim Charity has rescued over 2,000 children from the streets of Bangladesh and reunited over 250 lost children with their families. These children have been abandoned by their parents or have been trafficked into the most unspeakable situations including bonded labour and the sex trade. We have outreach workers on the ground building trust with the children and an informal ‘School under the Sky’ initiative, which are open air schools for street children. The project has 2 transitional shelters in Bangladesh – Mohamadpur and Airport Road Station. Muslim Charity has also launched the street children project in Karachi, Pakistan, targeting children who work on the streets at a young age due to poverty thereby not in any formal schooling.

SOME PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE JOURNEY

Follow their journey, learn more and donate online by visiting www.london2makkah.com

Alternatively follow them on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/London2Makkah

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