We speak to Galal Zekri Chatila, a 20-year-old adventurer, eager to instill that wandering spirit into his fellow Egyptians by organising a bicycle tour of our vast country.
Egypt has a lot of wonders to offer. Whether it's the majestic rural landscapes of the Red Sea, the sprawling deserts of Sinai, or even the historical beauty of Old Cairo, our country is filled with adventures and things to explore. Yet, all of this can be easily lost to us amidst the political strife and the spontaneous yet scheduled explosions. Our beautiful landscapes and our rich heritage are often taken for granted, especially by Egypt’s disillusioned youth. But one young man is desperate for change.
Galal Zekri Chatila, a 20 year-old student with a penchant for adventures and extreme sports, aims to change the view Egyptians have of our country. With a special love for cycling, Zekri aims to kickstart an initiative to expose the country to our population: Le Tour D'Egypte. "My aim is to tour all of Egypt and to cover every inch of our beloved country through an 8000 km bike trip that will take around 150 days," Zekri explained when asked about his initiative. The aim of Le Tour D'Egypte is to expose people to "the essence of the country" and motivate people to get out of their comfort zones, while discovering Egypt and increasing local tourism.
However, our young adventurer wasn't always the next in line to be Omar Samra. It all started out when he was 15 and embarked on a cycling journey to Ismailia, about 100 km from Cairo. "This greatly encouraged me to undertake a solo cycling trip to Sokhna. I also went on a trip to Nuweiba and a trip to the Western Desert (1650 km) on my bike,” he adds. When asked about future plans, besides Le Tour D'Egypte, Zekri elaborated: "I have two projects that im currently working on, all adventure related. Next to that, im trying to gather sponsors and support to ensure the success of the tour, which will be huge event, beneficial to our country on so many levels."
Chatila seems to have it all. It's inspiring to see someone use his passion for extreme sports in a way that'll help our country and paint it in a prettier and much more agreeable light than the one it currently is in. The motivated young man seems to be positively bubbling with energy, and an optimistic outlook that he can’t help but share. “I want people to try something new, try the various outdoor activities that can be done in our country, go back and reunite with nature and re-discover themselves.”