British Muslim walking from UK to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, spread message of peace

Adam Mohamed built his cart, weighing around 250 kgs, in two months with the help of a local welding company. (Supplied)
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Adam Mohamed built his cart, weighing around 250 kgs, in two months with the help of a local welding company. (Supplied)
Adam Mohamed has gained half a million followers on TikTok in just 25 days as he documents his journey daily on social media. (Supplied)
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Adam Mohamed has gained half a million followers on TikTok in just 25 days as he documents his journey daily on social media. (Supplied)
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Updated 29 August 2021

British Muslim walking from UK to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, spread message of peace

British Muslim walking from UK to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, spread message of peace
  • Adam Mohamed, 52, aims to arrive in Saudi Arabia next year if he completes the epic 6,500 km journey
  • The electrical engineer is pushing a custom-made cart, in which he sleeps and carries his belongings

LONDON: A British Muslim of Iraqi-Kurdish origin is walking from the UK to Saudi Arabia to arrive in time for next year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
Adam Mohamed, 52, set off from Wolverhampton, where he lives, on Aug. 1 and aims to reach Makkah before the pilgrimage starts in July.
He has already reached the Netherlands and will pass through Germany, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria and Jordan. The journey is around 6,500 km and he is walking on average 17.8 km each day.
“One day I just woke up and I said I am going to walk toward Hajj, toward Makkah, which is what I did, and to pray on the way and beg for Allah to give us mercy and forgive us as a humankind, all of us, not just one race, or one identity, or one faith, everyone,” Mohamed told Arab News.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and must be performed at least once in a lifetime. The annual pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest city is one of the world’s largest gatherings with more than 2 million people taking part each year. This year however, Saudi authorities did not permit foreign pilgrims and restricted the ritual to 60,000 people already living inside the Kingdom in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Pushing a cart weighing up to 250 kg and outfitted with speakers playing Islamic recitations, Mohamed said he is spreading messages of love, peace and equality.
“I came out from my home, and my journey is turning up to be Ummah’s (the community’s) journey,” he said. “Now, it’s not not my journey anymore, it’s for every different race, religion, faith and ethnicity.”
The self-employed electrical engineer is meeting dozens of people along the way.

“So many people are coming forward just to pay their respects from everywhere, they are bringing me food every single day, most of them pay me money as well and a lot of them leave everything behind and they come and stay with me and push the trolley with me,” he said.
A GoFundMe page was set up on Aug. 1 to raise money for his “Peace Journey from UK to Makkah” initiative and has raised nearly £30,000 ($41,240), well over his target of just £1,000.
Mohamed built the trolley, the size of a coffin, in two months with the help of a local welding company, and fitted it with electricity to help him sleep and cook. It bears the name of his mission in English and Arabic and at the back it reads “All Lives Matter.”




Adam Mohamed is walking from Wolverhampton in the UK to Makkah in Saudi Arabia while spreading messages of peace, love and equality. (Supplied)

After the pandemic hit, the father-of-two began questioning many things, dived deep into the Qur’an and began to examine life and human behavior. He said he wanted to remind people along the way that life is short and imagine if something else comes along “a little bit bigger or a little bit stronger, what could happen?” h
He said: “My message is to all humanity: Please stop hatred, stop judging people, we are human, we are brothers. Plus, we as Muslim communities in the EU — around 30 or 40 million Muslims — have been forced to leave our lands. We came here and we came as refugees, we came seeking peace. The people of Europe provide that for us, so we should respect them.”
Within 25 days he has gained half a million followers on TikTok as he documents his journey daily on social media. People driving past in their cars are beginning to recognize him with children running up to him and telling him that they are listening to his advice.
“You cannot imagine how happy and proud I feel when I see the kids running toward me and say ‘Uncle Adam, my hero’ and hug me. I’m inspiring them as well as women and men,” he said. In one of his videos, he also wears a hijab for a day as a tribute and to encourage Muslim women to wear it with pride.

The humble humanitarian said he is not bothered about fame and money, but wants to help people and be “a servant for humanity from the biggest head of the government, to the smallest member in the community.”
Mohamed, who speaks four languages, including Arabic and Farsi, has already received many requests for assistance when he returns, among which is a request to help fight against a ban on halal meats in European countries like France, Poland and the Netherlands.
Mohamed moved to the UK in the late 1990s after serving in the Iraqi army as a soldier and being captured as a prisoner of war. He expressed his pride in Queen Elizabeth II and the British government for removing difficulties faced by Muslims in other countries and the principle of basic human rights they adhere to.
“I feel honored to be his daughter because I never thought he would do something so amazing and bring so many people together,” his eldest daughter Dalya told Arab News.
“He brought peace, love and humanity and restored all of that back into us as humans, and I think a lot of us we’re forgetting that at the end of the day we are all brothers and sisters, and he is bringing so much positive in so much negative that there is at the moment in the world,” Dalya, 21, said. “It’s nice to see one person be able to bring all of this together.”


Bollywood superstar’s son gets bail in drugs case

Bollywood superstar’s son gets bail in drugs case
Updated 28 October 2021

Bollywood superstar’s son gets bail in drugs case

Bollywood superstar’s son gets bail in drugs case
  • Khan, 23, and seven others were detained on Oct. 3 when India’s narcotics agents raided a party and seized drugs on a luxury cruise ship
  • Shah Rukh Khan has made no official statement but many Bollywood stars have come to his side

NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Thursday granted bail to Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan’s son in a high-profile drug case that led to the actor finding himself at the center of a boycott campaign on social media.
The Bombay High Court said it will release a detailed order on Aryan Khan’s bail on Friday, which means he is expected to spend another night in jail.
Khan, 23, and seven others were detained on Oct. 3 when India’s narcotics agents raided a party and seized drugs on a luxury cruise ship off the Mumbai coast. He has been held in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail since Oct. 8.
The case has been going on for three weeks and India’s narcotics agency says it has evidence in the form of WhatsApp messages that Khan was involved in illicit drug dealings.
On Thursday, lawyer Anil Singh, who appeared for the agency, told the court that Khan had a history of consuming drugs and has been in contact with peddlers.
Arguing on behalf of Khan, lawyer Mukul Rohatgi told the court that the agency did not find any drugs on Khan at the time of his arrest and allegations that he was in contact with drug dealers were untrue. Rohatgi called Khan’s arrest “arbitrary,” adding that the agency did not conduct a medical examination to show he had consumed drugs.
The agency had last week opposed Khan’s bail plea for the second time, saying it would affect their investigation because he could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses.
The case has been dominating media headlines for weeks and has divided social media in India, with fans of the actor demanding Khan’s release while others calling for a boycott of his father’s films.
On Twitter, Khan and his father’s name have been trending alongside hashtag #BollywoodDruggies. India’s freewheeling TV news channels have also given wall-to-wall coverage to the case, with many of them siding with the narcotics agency.
Shah Rukh Khan has made no official statement but many Bollywood stars have come to his side.
The 55-year-old is India’s most loved star and is known as the “King of Bollywood.” He has starred in more than 105 movies over nearly three decades.
In September last year, some of Bollywood’s most prominent stars were questioned by the narcotics agency in connection with the death of famous actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Rajput died by suicide and doctors and police ruled out drugs.


Man asks Italian police to jail him to escape wife at home

Man asks Italian police to jail him to escape wife at home
Updated 24 October 2021

Man asks Italian police to jail him to escape wife at home

Man asks Italian police to jail him to escape wife at home
  • The man was already under house arrest when he made his plea

Rome: For some people, going to prison can feel like escaping to freedom.
A man under house arrest in Italy showed up at a police barracks asking to be put behind bars because life with his wife at home was unbearable, police said Sunday.
The 30-year-old Albanian citizen living in Guidonia Montecelio, outside Rome, “was no longer able to cope with the forced cohabitation with his wife,” Carabinieri police from nearby Tivoli said in a statement.
“Exasperated by the situation, he preferred to escape, spontaneously presenting himself to the Carabinieri to ask to serve his sentence behind bars,” they wrote.
The man had been under house arrest for drug crimes for several months and had a few years left to serve, Captain Francesco Giacomo Ferrante of the Tivoli Carabinieri told AFP.
“He lived at home with his wife and family. It wasn’t going well anymore,” Ferrante said.
“He said, ‘Listen, my domestic life has become hell, I can’t do it anymore, I want to go to jail.”
The man was promptly arrested for violating his house arrest and judicial authorities ordered his transfer to prison.


Police: Burglar gets new keys before she’s locked up

Police: Burglar gets new keys before she’s locked up
Updated 23 October 2021

Police: Burglar gets new keys before she’s locked up

Police: Burglar gets new keys before she’s locked up

CORONADO, California: A woman pretended she owned a Southern California home so a locksmith would make her new keys. Then police locked her up.
Officers arrested a 43-year-old woman on suspicion of burglary Thursday night in Coronado, a resort city across the bay from San Diego.
The brazen burglary was foiled when the real homeowner called Coronado police and said her neighbor noticed suspicious activity at the home. The homeowner was out of town, yet the neighbor saw the home’s lights being turned on and off.
Officers arrived and the neighbor — a relative of the homeowner’s — gave them a spare key. But it didn’t fit the front door’s lock, and metal shavings and pieces of an old lock were on the ground nearby.
As police walked around the home, they saw back doors open and a fireplace turned on as music played inside. After calling for a helicopter and a K-9 unit, officers saw someone moving around on the second floor in what was supposed to be an empty house with only one spare key.
Police called out to the person inside, who came out a few minutes later and was arrested. The woman claimed there were two kids in the house, but a police search turned up empty.
The woman told police the home was hers and said she’d called a locksmith earlier to change the front door’s locks.
No word if the burglar gave anyone a spare key.


Endangered orangutan in New Orleans expecting twins

Endangered orangutan in New Orleans expecting twins
Updated 21 October 2021

Endangered orangutan in New Orleans expecting twins

Endangered orangutan in New Orleans expecting twins
  • “We are very excited about this pregnancy,” Bob MacLean, senior veterinarian at the Audubon Zoo, said
  • The births in December or January will be the first for Menari, 12, but the third and fourth sired by Jambi

NEW ORLEANS: A critically endangered Sumatran orangutan in New Orleans is pregnant with twins, the zoo in New Orleans announced Thursday.
“We are very excited about this pregnancy,” Bob MacLean, senior veterinarian at the Audubon Zoo, said in a news release. “Twinning is extremely rare in orangutans — there is only about a 1 percent chance of this happening.”
The births in December or January will be the first for Menari, 12, but the third and fourth sired by Jambi, a male brought to New Orleans in late 2018 from a zoo in Germany.
It may be six years or more before the group’s next babies.
Sumatran orangutans wean their offspring at about 7 years old and have the longest period between births of any mammals — 8.2 to 9.3 years, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The great apes named for their long red hair have been decimated by hunting as well as the destruction of the forests and peat swamps where they spend nearly all their time up in trees.
About 13,500 are believed to exist in sustainable wild populations, and “overall numbers continue to decline dramatically,” according to the IUCN.
Watching matriarch Feliz and Reese, who came to New Orleans in 2018 from ABQ BioPark in Albuquerque, give birth to and bring up their daughters has helped prepare hand-raised Menari for motherhood, officials said.
Bulan was born in July 2019 to Feliz, who also is Menari’s mother. Reese’s daughter Madu was born in February.
The zoo said keepers and veterinarians are giving Menari daily training and enrichment sessions to prepare her for motherhood and the possibility that she might need help raising one or both.
If all goes well, the orangutan twins will be the second pair born at Audubon.
Bon Temps and Lagniappe, nicknamed Bonnie and Lana, were hand-raised after their birth in 1985 to an orangutan named Sarah. Bonnie died in 2016 at Zoo Miami; Lana, 36, is in Greenville Zoo in South Carolina.


‘Mo, meet Mo’: Salah introduced to Madame Tussauds waxwork for first time

Mohamed Salah meeting his waxwork doppelgänger during a private viewing at London’s Madame Tussauds. (Supplied)
Mohamed Salah meeting his waxwork doppelgänger during a private viewing at London’s Madame Tussauds. (Supplied)
Updated 21 October 2021

‘Mo, meet Mo’: Salah introduced to Madame Tussauds waxwork for first time

Mohamed Salah meeting his waxwork doppelgänger during a private viewing at London’s Madame Tussauds. (Supplied)
  • Star striker said it was “a blessing” to be included in lineup of stars at famous London attraction

LONDON: Liverpool and Egypt superstar Mohamed Salah was introduced to his waxwork doppelgänger during a private viewing at London’s Madame Tussauds museum on Thursday.

Though he can count Premier League and Champions League titles and playing for Egypt at a World Cup among his achievements, now Salah has achieved a genuine celebrity milestone.

Coming face to face with his waxy likeness for the first time since a measurement sitting with the Madame Tussauds artists, the striker said it was “a blessing” to be included in the lineup of stars at the famous attraction.

“It’s a blessing to be recognized and immortalized in this way,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it when I stood alongside ‘me,’ it’s like looking at my own reflection in a mirror! I can’t wait to see what the fans think.”

While Salah is instantly recognizable the world over wearing the red kit of Liverpool, his figure in the museum dons a cream suit, like the real Salah wore on the front cover of GQ Middle East magazine.

His figure also has fingers pointing upwards in his classic red carpet pose and goalscoring celebration. 

The statue will be viewable for the public from Oct. 22 and can be found alongside other A-listers, including members of the British royal family, David and Victoria Beckham, Dwayne Johnson, Dame Helen Mirren, Brad Pitt and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Salah’s two goals on Tuesday against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, meanwhile, saw him become the first player in Liverpool’s history to find the net in nine consecutive appearances in all competitions.