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Initiative promotes cycling in Jordan as alternative means for transport

By Muath Freij - Jul 01,2018 - Last updated at Jun 30,2018

Several Jordanians joined the first activity of 'Cycle Initiative' on Thursday at Al Hussein Youth City in Amman with the aim of promoting a culture of cycling (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — Rawan Abu Al Rob took a two-hour trip to Amman to join a cycling event not only "to have fun", but also because she plans to make cycling her new means of  transportation in her local area.

Residing in Sheikh Hussein area located in northern Ghor, the young Jordanian said she decided to take part in the cycling event that was held inside Sports City, Amman, because she and her fellow friends are in need of bicycles.

“I learned about Cycle Initiative through Masar Al Khair organisation. We are in need of bicycles in my area, because the infrastructure is not suitable for cycling and public transport is difficult to come by,” she told The Jordan Times in an interview at Al Hussein Youth City on June 28.

Abu Al Rob was among several Jordanians who joined the first event of Cycle Initiative, organised by Boost in cooperation with Massar Al Khair, on Thursday with the aim of promoting a culture of cycling.

Batoul Arnaout, founder of Boost, said the ongoing initiative aims at providing Jordanians who cannot afford to buy a bicycle with the opportunity to cycle.

“There are many factors that negatively affect people’s demand for cycling such unsuitable infrastructure, the younger generation's attachment to video games, and the fact that cycling is very expensive,” she told The Jordan Times.

She noted that the initiative is  visiting a specific area every Saturday and allowing people to ride bicycles for free.

“If we receive more bicycles, we will later leave the bicycles at the site to give people a chance to continue cycling in their own time,” she added.

Anwar Jadoa, a 25-year-old Jordanian and another resident of Ghor, commended the initiative.

“Cycling is expensive so we are hoping to receive our own bicycles. It is difficult to commute where we live due to a lack of means of transportation and I am forced most of the time to travel on foot,” she explained.

Mohammad Suwalim , a member of Massar Al Khair initiative, said they are planning to implement this initiative beyond Amman because transportation is even more difficult outside the capital.

Atef Al Ruwaidan, general director of Al Hussein Youth City, said they decided to host such an initiative because they wanted to support the youth and make the city a hub for cyclists.

“There are areas that are designed for cycling inside [Al Hussein Youth City] so we always urge the youth to head to the park to ride bicycles,” he added.

The event was attended by of Youth Minister Makram Qaisi, who joined attendees in the cycling activity and voiced his full support for similar initiatives.

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