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SALAM WANTADAR

With a message of peace, Herati bikers peddle towards Kabul

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HERAT (SW) – With a message of peace, a group of six cyclists left Herat on Thursday for Kabul.

After ten years of professional cycling, Aziz Ahmad Najafizada and five of his friends have now decided to cycle more than 1,000 kilometers from Herat to Kabul on their bicycles.

With the message of peace and empathy, Najafizada began the journey early in the day.

The young riders said that they would peddle for peace and security in the country and hope that one day they will be able to travel to all the provinces by bicycle.

Najafizada, who started his journey today in front of the governor’s office, said he was scheduled to complete the Herat-Kabul route in six days and nights. “One of my wishes has always been that there should be peace in our country, security, peace and tranquility so that we could take the Kabul route and possibly ride on roads throughout Afghanistan in our next trips.”

Najafizada said he was tired of war and ethnic tensions. He said the riders in his team accept each other and want to show to everyone that linguistic or racial differences cannot prevent them from accepting each other. “We accept each other, if we are Pashtun, if we are Persian, if we are Tajiks, and if we are Uzbek. We want to show to the world that there more things in Afghanistan than just the war”.

Officials from the Herat Cyclists’ Federation said on the occasion that the journey to Kabul may take up to ten days, with cyclists riding more than 100km each day.

Seyed Abdullah Fitri, president of the Herat Cyclists’ Federation, said the purpose of the 1,000-kilometer journey was to convey a message of peace, security and empathy.

Herat’s deputy governor, Shir Ahmad Ammar Mohajer welcomed the cyclists’ move, saying they are working to provide better conditions for athletes. “We will do everything we can to ensure that our young people can continue in whatever sport they are interested in.”

This was the first team of the cyclists to start their journey from Herat after the rise to power of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate.

ENDS

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