Tunisian Cyclist Sara Haba became the first woman to reach the Makkah on a bicycle. She traveled to Saudi Arabia and made the pilgrimage journey in 53 days as reported by Al-Araby.
Haba traveled across the desert into Egypt and Sudan for weeks on end, mostly by herself, and documented her travels using the hashtag #cyclingtomecca.
Haba named her bike Merzouga, which can be interpreted roughly to “grace with blessing” in Maghrebi Arabic.
“I was afraid to be stopped at any point. I didn’t know if my body will follow my will and accept all that I was imposing to it,” she wrote on Instagram.
Haba was troubled that she wouldn’t be permitted to access the sacred city as she was traveling by herself, but she didn’t let the fear stop her.
“In Saudi Arabia, where the distance and the difficulty were really small in comparison with what I went through, I was tensed before reaching Makkah as I really didn’t know if I would be allowed to enter the city, cycling by myself,” she added.
The brave and young woman, Sara Haba reached Makkah and throughout her path, she received immense prayers and blessings. She also collected thousands of messages requesting her to pray for them in Makkah.
In response, she thanked them.
“A special special special thanks to each person who has crossed my way, smiled to me, shown me the way, filled my bottles with water, offered me a fruit or a jabana, shared their house with me, presented me to their family and friends, cycled with me even for 10km, cried with me and made me part of their lives.
“I didn’t expect anything of all what happened,” she wrote online. “I kept making duas for all of you, holding the list of names tightly on my hands, while turning and turning in the crowd. But it will never be enough. Hope that life will give me the opportunity to give this back to the universe.”
Sara concluded: “I wouldn’t have made it without each one of you. You made it guys.”
Upon her arrival in Makkah, Sara met her brother, who came from France and performed the Umrah.