MUSCAT, Jan 18: An Omani and a South African man will bike over 3000km around Oman to raise money for children with disabilities.
Khalid Al Mamari, 30, will join Tom Millward, 48, who biked around the country last year to raise support for the Association of Early Intervention for Children with Disability (AEI). The two will set off on their journey this Thursday.
“These gentlemen are doing something extraordinary to help the organisation reach its targets and we are very proud of them,” said Hasan Al Moosa, from the AEI.
Al Mamari works for Omantel, which sponsored Millward last year, and he said he was very inspired by him. The fact that Millward cycled through Al Mamari’s own country to raise money for Omani children motivated Al Mamari to do his part.
“I saw that as Omani youth we aren’t involved in charity. We are too shy to do it,” Al Mamari said.
He said his friends and family told him he was crazy to embark on such a journey, and it was hard to convince them to support him. “But when they heard the objectives of the mission, they agreed with me,” said Al Mamari, who will be using his annual leave for the journey.
Last year Millward raised over RO6,000 and the men hope to raise more this time. The funds will go towards the operational costs of running the AEI, which provides special care and education for young Omani children with a variety of disabilities.
The men will leave from Qurum City Center tomorrow morning and head towards Quryat. They will follow the coast down to Salalah and the bike up through the interior to Al Battinah Governorate before returning to Muscat on March 5.
Along their journey of about 3,500km they will be able to tell Omanis about the services the AEI provides. Many people in the interior regions aren’t aware of the association, Millward said.
The men have been preparing for months, both on their bikes and in the gym. Al Mamari said he’s not as physically fit for the task as he’d like to be, but mentally he feels prepared for the adventure, which will include days of cycling up to 10 hours.