New York: Two Afghan cyclists, Nadir Shah Nangarhari and his son, Fairooz Khan 17, who arrived in New York last week after spending almost ten months biking across Europe with a message of “Journey of peace and Solidarity” called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today at the UN HQ.
Nadir Shah who has also been titled as National Cyclist Champion in 2003, says that he cycled around the world carrying one major message of Afghans, “We Afghans want to live in peace with the family of nations in the world and we want our identity in peace with the world.”
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon while meeting with the two Afghan cyclists said, “”Let us be inspired by these dedicated cyclists for peace to break the cycles of armed conflict that are causing so much suffering across the world.”
Mahmoud Saikal, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations who was accompanying the bikers to meet SG Ban Ki-moon, said, “Afghanistan, once a peaceful country in the region, is in need of world’s long term commitment to revive that peaceful history, and that is only possible through turning Afghanistan into a symbol of international cooperation.”
“Nadir Shah and his son’s resolve to bike thousands of miles only to convey a message of peace can tell you a lot about Afghans’ resilience in partnering for the noble cause of peace.” he added.
Nadir Shah says he will continue his quest for peace all over the world so that people know the real face of a nation with thousands years of a rich and proud history. He says that when he meets Afghans in remote villages around the country they always have this one message for him, “we are tired of war, we want books and pens for our children instead of guns and bullets.”
Nangarhari, who is also an advocate for women’s rights in Afghanistan, has biked in Afghanistan rural and urban areas to raise awareness for a number of vaccination and literacy popularization campaigns.