By Mohd Afiq Zulkifli

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 (Bernama) — After travelling 18,000 kilometres (km) for 108 days, using a Yamaha FZ150 motorbike, Zulkepli Mo’minin’s dream to set foot in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, has lastly come true, and with the ability to carry out the umrah pilgrimage.

Zulkepli, 55, a tasbih dealer, safely arrived within the Holy Land on Oct 23, after beginning a solo journey on July 8 from Gombak, Selangor, travelling throughout 11 nations, together with Thailand, Laos, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Sharing the expertise, Zulkepli stated that one of many unforgettable occasions was that he needed to keep in Iran for greater than a month, in contrast with the unique plan of 11 days, resulting from documentation issues to enter Iraq, particularly at Shalamche, on the Iran-Iraq border.

He stated that Iraq was the third-last vacation spot alongside his route, earlier than arriving in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

He didn’t count on that such a foul state of affairs may happen, as it could solely take a distance of 100 km to transit Iraq, from Shalamche to Safwan, on the Iraq-Kuwait border.

“Earlier than beginning this expedition, based on the little data I acquired from travellers who’ve entered Iraq, if one has a transit visa with no in a single day keep within the nation, there shouldn’t be an issue, which you could simply enter the nation.

“Nevertheless, the alternative occurred on the Iran-Iraq border, at Shalamche, because the Iraqi officers didn’t permit me to enter, so I needed to flip again to the town of Khorramshahr, which is just 20km from Shalamche, to spend the evening and take into consideration the following plan of action,” he stated when contacted by Bernama.

Zulkepli stated that to unravel the issue, he needed to quickly depart his motorbike and take a flight from the town of Ahvaz to Tehran which is 900 km away to use for a visa bodily from the Iraqi Embassy.

“To chop a protracted story quick, the Iraqi Embassy lastly authorised my visa software after 15 days in Tehran… though at one level I used to be at a loss serious about the paperwork of Iraqi officers, and simply wished to take a flight from Tehran to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” he stated.

Based on the daddy of 5, he additionally confronted one other problem, which was having to undergo a rocky path in one of many mountains in Kyrgyzstan, for 450 km.

“Although I needed to undergo varied assessments and hardships all through this expedition, I simply accepted it as a result of it was all Allah’s will, and the take a look at was, in actual fact, a blessing for me,” he stated.

Zulkepli stated that he will probably be in Makkah and Madinah for a couple of extra days earlier than taking a flight again house, and his motorbike will probably be despatched house through sea cargo.


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