Mahdavi Nader: ‘My book is a souvenir of peace’ Poupeh Mahdavi Nader, writer of ‘The Peace Route’ and the first female Iranian cyclist who made a worldwide tour, said that she cycled the globe to convey the message of love, friendship and world peace, and raise funds for Iranian orphans and underprivileged children.
Poupeh Mahdavi Nader was the first Muslim female cyclist going around the world with the motto: “In the name of love, friendship and global peace.”
She started her journey some ten years ago in April, 2003 in order to gather support and raise funds for orphaned children and the needy, communicate with the youth in various countries and bringing their message to those in Iran as well as observing the manifestations of God on earth. Her trip ended 16 months and 4 days later.
Talking about her book, she said that the work is, in fact, a memoir which holds several photos as well. The book is indeed my trip’s photos and memories, which was made for love, friendship and peace, she says.
She added: “A few hours before my trip was to start, at 8 a.m., the U.S. bombing of Iraq began. So instead of biking through Turkey and Greece, I took a plane to Rome.”
There, she went directly to the Vatican, where she hoped to meet Pope John Paul II. The Holy Father wasn’t available, but on Apr. 11, she had an audience with Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and by Mostafa Boroujerdi, Iran’s ambassador to the Vatican. Later that day she rode her bicycle out of St. Peter’s Square on an unusual journey that later took her to France and England, across the Atlantic by plane to Boston, then again by bicycle south to New York and Washington. She visited numerous other countries including Japan, New Zealand, China, the Netherlands and Oman. She also arrived in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage and later left for India, Jammu and Nepal. While in Nepal, Mahdavi Nader climbed the 5,545-meter high Kalapatar Mountain.The Iranian cyclists then left for China and South Korea, where she attended the peace festival before finishing the world voyage. Mahdavi Nader arrived in Tehran on a flight from Beijing. “There were times during my trip that I went four days with no money, but I don’t give up so easily. Despite all the hardships in my path, I have also experienced God’s heaven on this earth,” she says. “You can see the light of God in everything, and in all people.” Her book is released in 156 pages by Kalhor Publication in Iran.