Tenacious Palestinian biker returns home to a hero's welcome after completing life-altering 'Goodwill Journey'
- Palestine: Tuesday, October 16 - 2012 at 16:49
- PRESS RELEASE
37-year old Palestinian biker Wissam Al Jayyoussi returned home to a hero's welcome five months after he began his Asia-wide journey from Dubai to Singapore on his motorbike in May 2012. Whilst ending successfully, the grueling journey also exacted a personal toll that was far worse than expected.
At a Welcome Home event held for Wissam held by the PCRF at The Fridge, Alserkal Avenue, Wissam described the intricate details of his trip, and treated attendees to photographs that depict the life of the people he came across during his trip. On this journey, Wissam endured physical injuries, having run through deserts, ascended mountains, crossed rivers, got jailed, got run over, cheated death, transcended cultures, got lost and found answers, and finally reaching his destination, Singapore, after midnight on 2nd of October 2012.
During his 5-month bike trip, Wissam had carried the PCRF's message across 22 countries, raising awareness of the suffering of children and people in Palestine. However, the sights he witnessed would forever change his outlook on the human condition. The welcoming help of many Good Samaritans he met on his journey contrasted sharply with the abject poverty, systemic corruption and heartless cruelty he witnessed along the way. "What I expected to be a physically exhausting journey turned out to be far more mentally and emotionally draining. I have returned to Dubai, changed as a person - for better or worse, I cannot say. Much needs to be done around the world for our brothers and sisters in need and I hope that others pick up the torch where this journey has left off," says Wissam.
The journey also took its toll on Wissam's body; his injuries include a set of cracked ribs, periodic bouts of sickness and near constant fatigue from frequent 15-hour days on the road.
Wissam's trusted companion, his BMW Adventure bike, also took a beating along the way through regular falls and broken parts leading to no less than a complete overhaul towards the end. The often beautiful landscape mercilessly ravaged his BMW with few tools or spare parts readily on hand to mend it. At times, Wissam also resorted to ordering the expensive spare parts from Dubai.
Unexpectedly however, it is the profound impact to Wissam's psyche, the human story that unfolded before this eyes on the journey that has left him simultaneously hopeful but also distraught about the plight of the worlds remotest inhabitants, the marginalized and the downtrodden.
The Goodwill Journey is Wissam's second ride for charity. He has personally absorbed the trip's expenses in their entirety, with all the private and corporate donations going toward the PCRF's Pediatric Cancer Center.
The funds collected will be used to equip the cancer centre with medical equipment and critical supplies, as well as cater to the maintenance of the facility on an ongoing basis.
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