History made and tributes paid at surprise event for London to Makkah cyclists
On Saturday 9th September 2017, a surprise celebratory event was held in East London commemorating the arrival back to the UK of the #TeamMC #London2Makkah cyclists who cycled 5,000 km from London to Makkah to raise awareness and funds for street children, abducted children and orphans around the world.
Rashid Ali and Abdul Hannan took 56 days to complete the mammoth journey through 13 countries and arrived in Makkah just in time to complete the Hajj pilgrimage. They were accompanied throughout the journey by support driver, Shahaveer Hussain.
They raised close to £70,000 supporting Muslim Charity’s “Children of the World” campaign which rescues street children and supports orphans and vulnerable children in countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.
The surprise celebratory event was held at Regents Lake Banqueting Hall and was attended by Lord Nazir Ahmed who presented Achievement Awards to the three members of the #TeamMC #London2Makkah group. Around 180 people attended the event comprising of family and close friends of the cyclists as well as members of the #TeamMC cycling club and friends and supporters of Muslim Charity.
Lord Ahmed paid tribute to the cyclists and explained how touched he was that they decided to raise awareness and funds for projects related to children. Commenting on the work of Muslim Charity he said, “I am proud that Muslim Charity’s ‘Children of the World’ campaign was launched last year at an event I hosted at the House of Lords and it is heart-warming to see the enormous successes the projects around the world have seen since then. Islam places a huge emphasis on supporting and helping orphaned and vulnerable children and it is befitting for us all to therefore champion the rights of such children.”
Commenting on the occasion, Mr Bakhtyar H. Pirzada (Vice Chairman of Muslim Charity) said, “It is a landmark and noteworthy achievement that brothers Rashid, Shahaveer and Abdul Hannan have not only been able to raise awareness of the plight of needy children around the world but at the same time have brought the fifth pillar of Islam into the public eye through their cycle ride.”
The event concluded with a light-hearted and touching Question and Answer session with the brothers in which they shared some of their stories of the highs and lows during the 56 days they spent on the road together.
The journey started on 1st July from the Olympic Park, London, along with another 33 riders who travelled with them to Paris.
They travelled through England, France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. They clocked up an incredible 5,000 km which is about 5 million peddles.
Some photographs from the celebratory event