Galal Zekri-Chatila

Galal Zekri-Chatila

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Once again Cairo East Magazine catches up with Galal Zekri-Chatila, the young Egyptian cycling across all of Egypt over the course of 5 months. His mission is to show us the beauty and diversity of Egypt, and to promote awareness and tolerance of the different areas and subcultures within this great nation of ours…

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Today, the 11th of December, is my 20th day on the road. I’ve covered 1020 km and have visited Sokhna, Zaafarana, Ras Ghareb, El Gouna, Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, and Nuweibaa. I then officially touched base with Taba, then went to St. Catherine, Wadi Fyran, and Ras Sudr… and I’m still on the road.

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I started on the road with 70 students from my old school, Jeshuite, which boosted my energy.

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When I reached Zaafarana, I found around 12 missed calls from unknown numbers, I soon realized that I was being tracked by the police to ensure my safety. They wanted to send in a police van to assist me on the road, but I refused.

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On the road to Ras Ghareb the wind was blowing at 35 to 40 km/h. The weather was challenging, but I didn’t stop. I changed gears to the lowest, and decided to face the wind with all my power.  Gladly I managed to show the wind that it can’t break my spirit, so it decided to change direction and push me towards my goals! At that point my speed was reaching 40 km/h. and so I reached Ras Ghareb an hour after the sunset.

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After 3 days of a fancy lifestyle in El Gouna, full of massages, good meals, and kite-surfing, I wasn’t able to cross the Red Sea on a boat as planned. So I rode to Hurghada and slept on a boat there until I got my permit from the military.

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On the road to Dahab a Bedouin stopped to help me fix a flat rear-tire on Sophia, (my bike).

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I’ve had some depressing moments where I thought I was too weak and small to take on such a big challenge…

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I’ve had to face up-hills up to 1600 meters above sea level, head winds at 40 km/h, and I suffered so many flat tires and other mechanical issues.

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I’m very hopeful to reach Siwa Oasis by New Year’s, and enjoy the coolest bedouin party ever. During January I should be visiting all the oases of the Western Desert, and hopefully reach Halayeb on the other side.