The Big Bike Ride for Palestine arrives in Stoke-on-Trent Friday evening,29 July 2022.
Two hundred and fifty cyclists will be pedaling from Derby to Stoke-on-Trent on Friday. 29 July. Their aim is to raise money to set up a cycling club in the Am’ari. a refugee camp in the West Bank pf Palestine, and to support the Gaza Sunbirds who champion para-cyclists with equipment and training.
From 6.00 pm onwards the cyclists will be arriving at Equality Hall in Raymond Street, Hanley and by 7.30 they will be settling down for a meal provided through the generosity of members of the City Centre Mosque. Some will bed-down in the Equality Hall, others at a Staffordshire University Hall of Residence. If experience is a guide, the mood will be jubilant as the cyclists bask in a sense of achievement and share the days’ experiences.
Local people are invited to cheer the cyclists on arrival which will take them up College Road and through Hanley Park. Local cyclist may like to ride out to escort the cyclists into the city, and/or ride with them to the city boundary on their way to Manchester in the morning.
The Big Bike Ride is raising money under the auspices of the Middle East Children’s Alliance. MECA support the Amos Trust who sponsor various projects in the West Bank of Palestine and in Gaza.
One is to create a cycling path from Am’ari, a refugee camp east of Ramallah, to a nearby hillside where it will end at a recreation area for families. The hill is owned by families in the village but it is under threat of confiscation by Israelis. The proceeds of The Big Bike Ride are part of the villager’s plan to protect the land by making sure it is in constant use. Illegal Israeli settlements are encroaching bit by bit but the villagers are determined to stay on their land. Now more than ever they need our support as the settler attacks escalate!
The other project is the Gaza Sunbirds. The original Gaza Sunbird, Alaa al-Dali, was an Olympic hopeful cyclist when his leg was shot to pieces by an Israeli sniper on 30 March 2018. He was standing alone in his cycling gear, with his bike, as he watched a March of Return demonstration, 250 metres from the separation fence east of Rafah. The money raised by the BBR will help buy equipment to adapt bicycles and make them ready for use by disabled children and young people.
Alaa’s leg was amputated but he made a good recovery and since then he has channeled his energies into establishing an amputee cycling team, the Gaza Sunbirds. Alaa’s dream is to take the whole team to France to take part in the 2024 Paralympics and we would like to help make that dream a reality.
For further information contact:
Angela Glendenning, 32 Dartmouth Avenue, Newcastle-under-Lyme ST5 3NY
07485 127949 E: email@example.com
Waqas Butt 07828 016866
Cllr Amjid Wazir 07747 830461