No comments yet

Six Afghan professionals successfully cycle over 100km to Oxford for charity

Afghan Professionals network (APn)


Six Afghans successfully cycle over 100km for charity

LONDON (UK) – On Saturday 15th August 2015, six volunteers (Zohal Khawaja, Nazieh Fazli, Omaid Saeed, Farhad Timuri, Roohullah Popal and Ali Zaheer) from the Afghan professionals network (APn) embarked to cycle from London to Oxford. This challenge was undertaken to raise sponsorship funds for the distribution of stationary packages for students and plantation of trees across multiple schools in Afghanistan.

This was a historical milestone as it was the first cycle ride of this nature to be undertaken by APn and the first time a group of Afghans (including two women) cycled such a distance.

Despite many challenges, the journey was completed after 10.5 hours. They left London early morning, cycled through Ealing, Slough, High Wycombe and arrived early evening in Oxford.

The cyclists and their cause had over 40 financial sponsors, including friends, family and supporters from across the UK, Germany, Austria, Norway, Ethiopia, India and Afghanistan. The sponsors had agreed to commit between 10 pence and 100 pence per mile and were engaged throughout the journey with regular updates and pictures via social media.

Farhad Timuri, Chair of APn, said: “Through this event we want to highlight that a group of young male and female professionals anywhere in the globe can organise themselves within a week, use social media / smart phones to garner support for their cause and execute on their plan. We overcame many challenges, including lack of bicycles, individuals with limited training / cycling experience and punctured tyres en-route. All that is required is some preparedness / disaster management, continuous communication, a strong passion and determination to achieve a target, and of course, a good sense of humour. We experienced what Paulo Coelho wisely wrote in his book the Alchemist – when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

About APn 
The Afghan Professionals network (APn) is a dynamic team of Afghan volunteers from across the globe that leverage their collective passion, expertise and global relationships to re-invent Afghanistan.

APn believes educated and skilled professionals with the right values are key to developing a better future for Afghanistan and its people.

APn’s key values include: Tolerance, Unity, Equality, Respect, Diversity and Collaboration.

More information is available here.

About Spring of Hope

Launched in 2014, in partnership with Afghan Veracity Care for Unsheltered Families (AVCUF), Spring of Hope is one of the charitable initiatives of APn.

APn volunteers in Kabul purchase and distribute stationary packages (pens, pencils, school bags and notebooks) for school children who cannot afford to pay for their education. They also assist with plantation of trees across multiple schools. APn volunteers in London support with fundraising activities.

If you would like to contribute to the Spring of Hope initiative, please find below the bank details.

Bank: Natwest (UK)​
Account name: APn
Sort Code: 60-00-01
Account: 43913148
IBAN: GB 22 NWBK 6000 0143 9131 48

About the APn cyclists

Zohal Khawaja
Zohal, based in west London, is a mother and a property entrepreneur. She is an adventure seeker who is in love with nature and enjoys hiking, trekking, long-distance cycling. She is competitive and is always up for a new challenge. She believes life is what we make of it.

Nazieh Fazli
Brought up in Australia, Nazieh works in the banking industry in London, having previously been part of Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ Risk and Controls Solutions practice in Australia for six years. Nazieh’s interests include cycling, hiking, trekking, travelling, and food. She is fluent in English and Dari/Farsi.

Omaid Saeed
Omaid is an undergraduate at the University of Hertfordshire, studying Pharmacology. He is passionate about improving the health of vulnerable people in developing countries. He is the Chair of University of Hertfordshire Model United Nation and the London Health Ambassador for selfless. He has volunteered with the UNICEF UK “End Violence” campaign and was a mentoring coordinator for the Afghan Students Association UK (ASAUK).

Farhad Timuri 
Farhad is a mentor/adviser to a number of early-stage companies, corporates and charities. Farhad started his career in mergers & acquisitions at Credit Suisse in London, after having graduated from Imperial College, London.

Farhad’s interests include long distance running, cycling, triathlons, hiking, philosophy, philanthropy, travelling and languages. He is fluent in English and Dari/Farsi, and has an intermediate knowledge of Pashto, Urdu, French and Spanish.

Roohullah Popal
Based in London, Roohullah is a security architect specialist working as senior consultant at Detica. Roohullah’s interests include cycling, hiking, philosophy, and philanthropy. He is fluent in English and Pashto.

Ali Zaheer 
Based in London, Ali is a project manager at Mace. He has an MSc in project management and economics from UCL. Ali’s interests include playing football, long distance cycling, and hiking . He is fluent in English and Pashto.