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Inspirational journey: A French citizen of Moroccan Nabil Ennasri

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A French citizen of Moroccan origin, Nabil Ennasri, has successfully completed a transformative bicycle journey from Paris to Saudi Arabia. Mr Ennasri set out on this epic pilgrimage on April 22, spanning a distance of 5,000 kilometres, in an attempt to revive the traditional pilgrimage experience and shed light on the pressing issue of global warming.

The journey took him 57 days and covered 11 countries, including Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Greece, Jordan, and Turkey. He was warmly welcomed by the Saudi Cycling Federation during his short stay in Jeddah and held a practice session with the members of the club on the Jeddah Corniche.

Nabil Ennasri

The 41-year-old is a French affairs analyst, a writer, and a civil society activist who focuses on a variety of social issues, including discrimination and education.

In a video on social media, he expressed his emotions of his arrival at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. “It is difficult to express these feelings,” he said.

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“When you have taken a long journey to pray at the Prophet’s Mosque, your prayer is not the same as when you take a seven hour flight. Some members of my family also travelled on foot. It could have taken months or even years. Some lost their lives during the journey. When I remember these moments, I find the strength in me.” During his journey, Mr Ennsari received messages from friends and well-wishers. One of his non-Muslim friends, identified only as Thomas, apparently expressed his enthusiasm for the project.

“Even though he (Thomas) doesn’t share my faith, he is enthusiastic about my project and the fact is that we are raising awareness about ecology and the environment,” said Mr Ennasri in his video.

Nabil Ennasri

“I liked his message and replied back saying that our philosophical or religious differences don’t matter because our faith in humanity unites us. Our planet is our home and we have to preserve it for future generations.”

Additionally, he expressed his secondary goal of gaining insight into the challenges faced by pilgrims in ancient times, particularly their extensive journeys on foot. By understanding their hardships, he hopes to deepen his appreciation for their experiences.

He was able to retrace the slow journey taken by Muslims in the past and hopes that his journey will help to preserve this tradition. He was also ambitious that his journey will inspire others to take action to protect the environment.

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