Palestinian long-distance runner and founder of Runners for Freedom, Mohammed Alqadi, crossed the finish line at the London Marathon yesterday for the second time.
Carrying a Palestinian flag, Alqadi set off on the 42-kilometre run to raise funds for Penny Appeal to provide clean and safe water for the people of Gaza.
Some 90 per cent of the water in the Gaza Strip is not safe to drink, he explained in his appeal through which he aimed to raise awareness about the issue and help Gaza’s besieged population.
The 28-year-old Palestinian refugee, currently based in France, has carried his Palestinian flag across 11 international marathon finish lines over the past two years.
“Running at international events is an important way of sharing the Palestinians’ message,” he told MEMO, “that they are searching for their basic rights and just want to live in peace.”
Also running for Palestine this year was British-Palestinian runner Noor Bibi who has raised over £2,000 for Medical Aid for Palestinians.
Bibi has a history of running half-marathons, with the 2018 London Marathon being her first attempt to run a full marathon.
“My pain is only temporary,” Noor said ahead of the race. “Each time I run I know that I am one step closer to helping those people through the money I raise.”