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CYCLING FOR A CAUSE 
To a world without borders

By bazaar staff, February (2011) edition of bazaar
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Mohamed Alali
Mohamed Alali
 

Lebanese biking champion Mohamed Alali has a vision that the world would someday become borderless and open to everyone. We live in a world where there are political borders that stop us from crossing them and trekking forward to discover what the world might have in store for us. Having to go through endless, bureaucratic visa procedures can be difficult to deal with for anyone. So, with a worthy vision, Mohamed Alali has set out to cycle his way through the Mediterranean to promote a “borderless” world.

Coined the “Borderless Mediterranean Journey”, by Mohamad and Astrid de los Rios, the journey’s curator and manager, the aim is to show that the area is indeed connected through culture and tradition and shouldn’t have borders. Starting his journey in Alexandria, Egypt, Mohamed has travelled by bike only and when absolutely necessary took a ferry or plane. A journey full of sweat, tears, pain, and joy, Mohamed is spreading his message one city at a time. Bringing culture and sports together, Mohamed wants the world to understand that we all travel to different countries all the time in order to seek better opportunities. “In a way, we’re all expatriates,” says Mohamed whose last six months have been spent in 8 different countries and has yet to travel throughout 4 more countries in order to complete the journey. Without his sponsors, he never would’ve been able to spread his message across. His main message; terrorism belongs to no religion and that people must believe that and abolish the borders they have set.

Mohamad’s will power and perseverance to spread this message is inspiring to everyone. In the past, borders between countries didn’t exist; now, even countries that share cultures have created borders and restrictions against each other. Trying to use the Mediterranean region as a paradigm, this journey is showing the world how the Mediterranean area is where culture began and how we are all more alike than we think. One should hope that after this journey, the region will open up more to one another and people will work from a grassroots level towards loosening up the borders that now exist. Mohamed had this idea in mind for years, but only began the journey in July 2010 and continues to cycle around. “Although transportation means have evolved, travelling has always been an important aspect of peoples life, one could almost say that globalization was there since the Silk Road caravans,” states Mohamed’s journey’s curator and former diplomat Astrid de los Rios.

“Mohamad is Lebanese, living in Kuwait; I’m from Paraguay living in Japan and recently spending long periods in the middle east.. If you’re born in a certain country why must you be obliged to live your whole life there? You should be free. If you want to remain all your life in your own hometown this is fine. If you want to live in a different country, this should also be perfectly fine.”

The message they’re trying to portray is that a person’s culture doesn’t dissolve when they move, if anything they take it with them. We are all citizens of this planet, and the planet should be united rather than separated and segmented; but that’s ideally of course. “We should let the world balance itself, and a natural equilibrium will occur since not everyone wants to leave their home,” adds Astrid. “Because we all have this mental restriction telling us that we cannot cancel these borders, I faced trouble crossing some borders in the name of a borderless world,” confesses Mohamed, “and that’s in the Arab world, whereas Europe opened their borders to one another.” He fears that the Arab world would rather remain torn apart than trying to communicate and unite. Both Mohamad and Astrid want the whole world to acknowledge that we are all citizens of it rather than try to segment it further. 

 

To follow his journey even further and for upcoming events, log onto www.borderlessmed.com

 
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