Pedaling for peace
Iranian globetrotters on bikes -- and a mission
By Ben Bagheri
March 14, 2003
I met a couple of extraordinary human beings a few nights ago. Two Iranian men,
in their twenties, with middle-aged wisdom and determination. My first impression
was their humility and friendliness. A few minutes after meeting them, one's impression
is complimented with their sheer determination and the focus on the ultimate goal.
Without such strong determination, they couldn't have possibly come as far as
they have and most certainly would not go far enough to reach their final goal; the
goal of circumventing the earth on their yellow bicycles
And when you ask why they are doing this, the response is simply "peace"!
They want to promote peace and friendship as two men from Iran. And they are quick
to point out no affiliation with a particular religion or political ideology Just
peace on Earth! >>> See photos
Amir Ahmadi and Hasan Alizadeh left Iran in September of 2000, aiming to pedal
around the globe, crossing all continents, spreading a message of peace. They left
Iran with their bikes, some supplies and very little money, hoping that God would
provide along the way.
They began from Iran's southeastern border, towards the Asian subcontinent. After
pedaling through Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and
Japan, they flew their bikes to Canada which they crossed on their bicycles, entering
the United States from British Columbia.
They told me they entered the US a couple of weeks before the terrorist attacks
on September 11 of 2001. One can only imagine entering a country on a light hearted
mission of peace and shortly thereafter find it immersed in all that follows a hateful
terrorist attack of such magnitude. But Amir and Hasan refused to give up or quit.
In fact, they found their cause more relevant and stronger than ever before.
So the two Middle Easterners continued their journey across America, pedaling
their message of brotherhood and tolerance through 30 states in almost 18 months,
while America continued the process of healing and dealing with the post 9/11 world.
Hasan had a bad injury in 2002 and had to undergo a major knee reconstruction
surgery. Although this was an expensive operation, it was done free of charge thanks
to the generosity of an Iranian expatriate surgeon in Denver, Colorado. The giving
spirits of many other people, especially Americans and Iranian-Americans have blessed
the duo through their journey with funds, supplies, accommodations and much encouragement
Their visit to Dallas was organized by Iranian-American community activists. The
cyclists met fellow Persians at the Gold Room, an upscale Iranian-owned restaurant
on Inwood Road in North Dallas. Eventually the restaurant was filled with about 200
eager expats who chatted with the cyclists and their yellow bikes and had their pictures
taken with them. Numerous people offered monetary support in a basket that was placed
in view with empty envelopes for convenience.
From Dallas, the Iranian peace cyclists will continue
on down to Houston, with the ultimate goal of trekking down through South America
and on to Australia, Africa and Europe. The original itinerary called for pedaling
a total of 3 years and finishing back in Tehran. Currently, due to injury and other
delays, the tour is expected to take longer.
I urge everyone to find out where and when these gentlemen are making their stops
and public appearances It would help them and their cause tremendously for you to
show up and show your emotional support and especially your monetary assistance and
make the rest of their journey possible. You can see more details about them and
their journey on their official website at pedal4peace.com
where you can also find out how to send them your donations. >>> See