Dubai: A Palestinian biker has returned to Dubai after a 145-day charity trip which raised Dh1 million to go towards building a Paediatric Cancer Centre in Beit Jala, Palestine.
The Dubai-based Palestinian biker Wissam Al Jayyoussi, 37 received a hero’s welcome in Dubai after travelling 52,000 kilometres over 145 days across 22 countries to collect funds for a Paediatric Cancer Centre for the West Bank’s Beit Jala as well as to raise awareness of the suffering of children and people in Palestine.
During the five-month journey from Dubai to Singapore on his motorbike, Al Jayyoussi endured many physical injuries while travelling through deserts, ascending mountains and crossing rivers, where he was jailed, run over, cheated death and transcended cultures.
Some of the physical injuries that Wissam endured include a set of cracked ribs, periodic bouts of sickness and near constant fatigue from frequent 15-hour days on the road.
But despite how physically gruelling the journey was, Al Jayyoussi said he did not expect that the personal toll of the journey would be stronger than the physical one because of the poverty and 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,” said Al Jayyoussi.
His trusted companion, a 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. Al Jayyoussi used the few tools or spare parts readily on hand to mend it and at times, he resorted to ordering expensive spare parts from Dubai.
Al Jayyoussi has personally absorbed the trip’s expenses in their entirety, with all the private and corporate donations going toward the Paediatric Cancer Centre Fund. 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.