By Annisa Essack
Sara Haba, a Tunisian, has become the first woman to reach Makkah by bicycle. She began her travels on 4th November 2019 and arrived in Makkah fifty-three days later. Initially, she was afraid that she would not be allowed to enter the city as she was travelling alone. As per Saudi law, any woman under the age of 45 who wants to undergo the religious pilgrimage of Hajj needs a visa and must travel with a mahram or a male guardian.
She took to Instagram and shared highlights of her journey using the hashtag #cyclingtoMakkah. Her travel route, on her cycle e Merzouga which means “grace with blessing” in Maghrebi Arabic, included the deserts of Egypt and Sudan. There are multiple photos of Sara traveling to Makkah which have gone viral on social media.
Haba wrote that she had received requests from many of the people she met on her travels asking her to pray for them at the holy city. Thousands of people followed her journey online and shared messages of support on her Instagram profile.
She was welcomed by thousands of well-wishes upon her arrival in Makkah. Sara also met her brother, who came from France and performed the Umrah with her. She wasn’t allowed to take her bicycle into the precinct of the Haram but she did ensure that she took the speedometer of her cycle with her.