Tunisian Cyclist Sara Haba became the first woman to reach the holy city of Mecca on a bicycle.She travelled to Saudi Arabia and made the pilgrimage journey in 53 days.
Haba travelled 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 travelling 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 Mecca as I really didn’t know if I would be allowed to enter the city, cycling by myself,” she added.
Thousands of people followed her journey online and wrote supportive messages on her Instagram, whilst others asked her to carry their prayers.
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