Poupeh cycles around the world for peace
By Katayoon Hadizadeh
November 18, 2003
Every one of us has dreams. Dreams
that lie somewhere in those hidden corners of our soul like a sacred
statue. We look at them,
worship them and even sometimes talk about them. But there are
not many of us who go for their dreams and plan to achieve them.
That is what distinguishes between daydreamers and real doers.
Mahdavi Nader is one a brilliant example.
Poupeh is the first woman cyclist going around
the world with the motto: "In the name of love, friendship
and global peace".
Born in 1973 in Tehran, Poupeh started her journey
on April 10th. She plans to cover 10 countries by March 2004, including
Italy, France, England, United States, Japan, New Zealand, China,
Oman and Saudi Arabia. Her travels culminate in a pilgrimage
Poupeh also plans to climb the summits of four
mountains, including Mont
Blanc (4801 m) in France, Fujiyama (3776 m) in Japan and Mount
Cook (3764 m) in New Zealand.
What drives Poupeh is a set of goals:
1. Gathering support and raising funds for orphaned
children and the needy.
2. Communicating with women and youth in
various countries and bringing their message to those in Iran.
3. Observing the manifestations
of God on earth.
Poupeh comes from Iran. An Islamic country in
which women are required to cover their hair, and wear an overall
which restrict her sport activities. Yet, this has not
stopped her. She started mountain
climbing in 1992 and has climbed all the major mountains of Iran.
(Mount Damavand alone is 5671 m). She has a brown belt in
martial arts, and is an accomplished swimmer, volleyball
player and equestrian.
In a country where women have difficulty traveling
alone (hotels will not rent rooms to single women), Poupeh
has traveled to different parts of Iran mostly on foot. The rural
people are extremely kind and hospitable and they greeted her with
Then she began her world tour. After biking in
Italy, France, and England, she arrived in the U.S. this summer.
She had stops in Boston,
New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston,
to name a new cities. Last we heard, she is somewhere in New Zealand.
does not let you wonder much about where she is and what she is
doing. She enjoys communicating with people as a major part
of her journey and she does not let her supporters feel deserted.
You can read her daily notes both in Farsi and English on her personal
website, mahdvainader.com (when
it's not down!). You can also see a great number of photos she
has taken during her trip.
Poupeh is a messenger of
peace at a time of terror and war. She takes your hand and makes
you fly. Fly with her, to observe all she has seen, to experience
how her belief in God, the Almighty, has helped her do what
no other female has done on this globe.
One of her most interesting diary entries is when
she gets her U.S. visa. Poupeh writes: "My
trip has gone very well up to now even though it was not sponsored
by any particular
company. The truth is that I had no official letter or backing
from any foreign or Iranian organization and God has showed me
that He himself is the best supporter of all: I was able to get
a single visa during war time and, even more incredible, an American
visa. The American consulate informed me last week that they have
got a reply from Washington and told me to send my passport to
have the visa stamped on it. They had said that Iranians must
wait at least one month to get an answer, but they were cooperative
with me and I got mine in two weeks, thank God."
Poupeh! Good luck on your trip and
your goals! You have the strongest support in your
your faith in God
is what counts most.
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