Suhad Shtayyeh
Amman, September 11, 2017
by Suhad Shtayyeh

You Need to Know About Jordanian Zein Nimri’s Cycling4Gaza Campaign

You know the chemical reaction that happens when you put Mentos sweets into a bottle of Pepsi ? That’s the analogy that comes to mind as I sit with athlete and nutritionist Zein Nimri. A year after our first meeting and Zein has the same explosive passion and perseverance that makes things happen. She is the original mover and shaker.

Cycling and running are Zein’s passions, instead of enjoying these sports in the silo of ‘working out’, Zein uses these skills to achieve. For a third year in a row, Zein will be Cycling4Gaza late September. A fundraising effort that brings together cyclists the world over, each obligated to bring to the table a minimum cash contribution from donors. The recipient this year is the PCRF, Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. The journey will take her and fellow cyclists to Spain, a three day, 300km trip of endurance, hardship and triumph, from Ávila to Madrid.

Make your voice heard by contributing to Zein’s fundraising campaign by clicking here.

Cycling4gaza was born in the wake of 2009 military offensive on Gaza, in an effort to draw international attention to the emergency humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the effects of the ongoing blockade on its people, and a means through which to support reputable organisations that are building a culture of self-reliance and independence among Palestinian communities through long-term health and education projects.

This time round, as Zein Nimri tells me about her fundraising effort for Cycling4Gaza she is just as resolute yet less anxious than last season. Her fundraising effort is going smoothly and substantially, she has created credibility. People now view her as a dependable and impressive vessel in which to carry and share the story and plight of the Gaza people.

As we talk over coffee I attempt to decipher the formula that has lead to Zein’s success and more importantly fulfillment. Fundraising for Gaza on a bicycle is much greater than the sum of its parts, a combustion of sorts that fuels her ‘cycle’ of giving.I am on a mission to understand it…

As she shares her plans they sound grueling to say the least, a 300km bike ride requires some serious training and many 6am to-the-airport-and-back rides.Zein is one of the fortunate few that has been able to bring together her passion for sports with her desire to help others. I use the word desire, not obligation to help others, desire creates consistency, obligation doesn’t. This is also a formula that is futile without perseverance and hard work. So what is it that fuels her to push through the training and pain ?

Just like a chemical molecule, there are three atoms that are the foundation of Zein’s formula, they are her passion for giving, the love of sport and her spiritual evolution. This sportswoman has always given willingly. Whether it was her attempts to assist a restaurant server while having a meal with her parents at the age of 5, or her pervious psychologically grueling work with the International Organization for Migration, no doubt about it Zein is a giver.

“sport teaches you humility, you get to know yourself better.”

Her insatiable love of sports, is a pillar in her life, not a hobby.It is the act of bringing sports and giving, her two loves together that attracted the most powerful atom, that of spiritual evolvement.Yes, I was also caught off guard, but the truth is you can’t continue to give if you do not receive, and receive she does.

The defacto high of giving is a ‘given’, we all know that helping others is rewarding. What is perhaps less known is the enlightenment that one feels through training. Those early morning rides don’t just strengthen her body, they quiet her mind and attempt to discipline the ego, which in turn feeds the soul.Zein shares that “sport teaches you humility, you get to know yourself better.”Training actively strips the person of one’s ego, even for a short while.The alternate perspective attained enriches the psyche and keeps one coming back for more.

This formula which I have coined the ‘Trinity of Fulfillment’ doesn’t hold true for all sports women and men, yes there is the serotonin high of sports but they need to have a cause, an outwardly goal to attain that Trinity of Fulfillment.It is when the cause and activity that you are passionate about collide in a meaningful way that this molecular compound, the ‘Trinity of Fulfillment’ is complete.Which is why imitating people is futile and can never lead to the same results.These desires need to come from your gut, only then can they be a vehicle for achievement.

As she shares her love of running and therefore marathons, she is already thinking about how to apply her passion for running to something meaningful. Flickers are starting to fly about, something to benefit the Syrians or perhaps something home-grown…Who knows, what is clear is that once you nail your personal formula for success the sky is no longer the limit.

Sep 11, 2017