UAE | General
Feat without equal
Jalal Bin Thaneya recalls the emotional journey of walking 2,000 kilometres to Makkah from Abu Dhabi — to raise funds for children with special needs
- These are my first steps into Saudi Arabia. The road from here on is very narrow — just 1.4 metres wide, so it is practically like walking in the middle of the desert. There is no fencing, nothing, just the tarmac and the sands of time. But I connected with the road immediately. I felt my feet adjust to the new terrain naturally. I had entered the real phase of my walk to Makkah and I was very happy about it. Even though it was only a few miles that side of the UAE border, the sand, the air, the heat suddenly felt different. It suddenly became very hot; there was not a shred of a cloud in the sky. The sense of change was immediate, dramatic. This is a road I was very close to in many ways — I slept alongside it, I ate my meals with this road in sight, I would often take off my boots and walk on it to feel its surface. To me a road is not just a road; it has a character and a purpose. I believe that you have to respect a road because you need to go along with it towards your destination. If you don’t, there is a price to pay.
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