UK-based charity Follow The Women in partnership with the Emirates Cycling Federation to ride for peace and greater cultural understanding of the Middle East
Date: Saturday February 16th to Saturday to February 23rd 2013
Location: Through all seven Emirates
More than 130 women from 27 countries will ride their bicycles alongside many Emirati women through all seven Emirates starting February 16th in the latest edition of the Pedal For Peace initiative organized by international women’s organisation Follow The Women.
Invited by the Emirates Cycling Federation, this will be the charity’s sixth ride that brings together women from all over the world to cycle together in the name of peace and greater cultural understanding.
The brainchild of UK national and Nobel Peace Prize nominee (1000 Women) Detta Regan, Follow The Women is a UK based registered charity that works to build bridges between women from diverse cultures and beliefs to enhance global knowledge and understanding of the Middle East, and to make a positive impact in communities.
Since 2004 Follow The Women rides have been held in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine and involved over 1,800 women from over 40 countries. Each participating country has a team of dedicated women who fundraise for the team's projects.
Previous projects have included the building of four fully equipped playgrounds in the West Bank and Gaza, the provision of sewing machines and equipment to Palestinian women in refugee camps and support for a youth counselling project in Ramallah Palestine
Funds raised during the ride across the Emirates will be donated to the Red Crescent for specific projects in Palestine and other areas in the Middle East.
Detta Regan commented: “We are honoured that the Emirates Cycling Federation has invited Follow The Women to ride across the Emirates. Our events not only foster a sense of unity and develop long-lasting networks, but also have a positive impact on the lives of those in the Middle East.
“We believe that by bringing together women from all over the world to ride together, to experience different cultures and to meet new people, we are a real non-threatening, apolitical force for peace. The rides are key to dispelling myths and preconceptions and bring greater understanding of each other.”
Detta organised the first Follow The Women cycle tour of the Middle East from her home in Berkshire, England, in 2004. All women in the Emirates are encouraged to join the Pedal For Peace as it makes its way across the country.
Details of the route are available on the website at: www.followthewomen.com and updates are posted on the organisation’s Facebook page at Follow The Women.
About Detta Regan
Detta has spent the last thirty years working with young people both in the UK and abroad. During her 23 years as an international youth worker, she has travelled the world creating a network of contacts and she has been involved in many projects from sending a ‘language bus’ to Berlin in 1989, to providing bicycles to an orphanage in Kenya. It was during her visits to the Middle East that she became involved with the women and children of the region.
Detta has been awarded:
• UK Woman of Europe, 2001
• International Woman of Europe Award, 2002
• Nobel Peace prize nomination (1000 women), 2004
Detta lives in Reading, UK and is mother to two daughters, Philippa and Becky who support and accompany her on the Follow The Women rides.
A press conference will be held on Saturday 16th February at General Authority of Youth and Sport Welfare, Dubai
Ms Nisreen Darwish
Emirates Cycling Federation
+971 504 600004
Ms Detta Regan
CEO and Founder, Follow the Women