Makkah-bound Indonesian cyclists
Naveed Ahmad Khan
—Two Indonesian cyclists Asid Kusuma Atmaja and Yunus who started their journey to Makkah to perform Hajj and Umrah from Indonesia last week reached here in Islamabad. The Embassy of Indonesia in Islamabad hosted a ceremony in the honor of both cyclists. The ambassador along with embassy staff, and Pakistani friends including media persons, tour operators, and executives of various dropbox agencies wished the young Indonesian cyclists a safe and secure journey ahead. Indonesian Ambassador Adam Tugio welcomed the two cyclists and wished them a safe journey as they embarked on their unique adventurous trip to Makkah. He termed their passion to face all the hardships of the roads and ordeal of a long journey to reach Saudi Arabia for Hajj highly valuable.
The Ambassador said, “It gives me immense pleasure to announce that the visa issues of the two Indonesian cyclists have been resolved and they can now resume their road journey from Pakistan to Iran, Oman, UAE, and finally Saudi Arabia.”
The ambassador struck a positive note by announcing that the entire visa process for Indonesia has been made much simpler and easier for Pakistani tourists and would be available within three days. He also thanked the Pakistani media as well as the tourism industry people for their cooperation to highlight Indonesia’s rich tourism potential, its idyllic places, cuisine, and culture and above all immense opportunities for Pakistani students and businessmen, etc.
“People of Pakistan and Indonesia have many commonalities such as lifestyle, cultures, traditions, values and even food and architecture. The way the two Indonesian cyclists were received in Pakistan and given coverage in the media is also proof of our close friendship,” he said.
The visiting cyclists are exploring Islamabad on their bicycles while displaying the flags of Indonesia and Pakistan and other visited countries to express the love and brotherhood between all brotherly nations and other visited countries. They were very warmly greeted by the people of Pakistan and received appreciation for their courage.
Asid Kusuma Atmaina said, “This is my first international tour on a cycle, the motivation behind starting this journey was pure love and devotion for Allah and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)”. Asid and Yunus encountered many challenges during their arduous journey such as visa issues, grueling weather conditions, language barriers, and security concerns. Sometimes they camped on the roadside, slept inside mosques, and on many occasions, it was too cold to sleep. They said these challenges are only making them stronger and more steadfast in achieving their goals. Yunus shared that he had been yearning for this expedition since his college days. He finds it hard to comprehend that his biggest dream is actually turning into reality and he is more than halfway through his journey. Cyclists are also very popular and liked by millions from all over the world on TikTok. By sharing their journey through short videos, they hope to motivate youth to achieve great things in life and leave a legacy behind despite any challenges or hardships.
After riding bicycles across five countries; Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, and Bangladesh, they took a flight to Pakistan. In Pakistan, they are staying in the premises of the Indonesian Embassy to obtain a visa for their next destination, which is Oman. They intend to travel to Makkah via Oman and the United Arab Emirates.