Muscat – As many in the region look forward to making the most of the FIFA World Cup 2022 to be hosted in Qatar, there are individuals looking to spread the message of a social cause during the mega event. One such individual is Hilmi al Kindi who is preparing to walk from Oman to Qatar to promote the oneness of the region and its unique heritage.
Kindi, a history enthusiast who has undertaken numerous gruelling challenges in the past, believes everyone in the GCC needs to support Qatar in organising the World Cup, besides supporting their team taking part in the tournament.
To lend support to Kindi, his friend Nawaf al Sulaimani will join the walk. “Hilmi and I have done similar activities together and I am glad I will be able to be with him this time. Even though we have tried hard for sponsorship, it has been in vain. But we will do the walk, with or without sponsorship,” Sulaimani said.
He added that the walk will also help promote Oman as a cultural destination. “We have been promoting culture since 2015. We have walked around Oman and were planning a walk around the world, but then we thought Qatar is a good opportunity since the World Cup tournament is coming to the region for the first time,” Sulaimani said.
In an effort to relive GCC history, rediscover its natural wonders and find new ones, Kindi – who, according to Sulaimani, has spent most of his life walking in and around the sultanate to spread various social messages – will now be embarking on a project he calls ‘Tracing Our Ancestors’.
“The GCC countries have countless ruins, forts, castles and natural wonders that are still being explored and found today by the new generation. For a firsthand experience of these and to learn more about the hidden treasures, one doesn’t always have to drive but can walk to these locations to understand them better. For this event on the world stage, I plan to walk through the GCC’s historical places to highlight them to the world,” he added.
Kindi also plans to rope in other walking enthusiasts along the way. “The objective of our project is to spread the message about preserving and learning from our heritage. Some of our historical structures reveal the best of creativity. Arabs are hard working and even without today’s engineering and technologies, they created miracles and for this reason, the world needs to know about these and this is the right time for that,” he said.
Kindi, 42, plans to cover most of the GCC countries in his ‘Tracing Our Ancestors’ walk. Additionally, he is eager to make a documentary about the heritage structures during his walk. “These structures must be highlighted so that authorities maintain them, carrying out restoration works where necessary. These are ancient and need proper care.
“I’ve walked to all the heritage sites of Oman and have documentaries on these. I now plan to walk around the GCC to showcase them. As an Omani, it is my duty to promote the country, in particular in the GCC, in whatever way I can. Learning about our forefathers and the structures they made prompted me to start this project.”
However, Kindi is yet to secure sponsorship for it. “This has been my long-time dream and this coming World Cup event is a great occasion to do so. I am currently in search for sponsors from within GCC. However, with or without sponsors, I am committed to embark on this journey,” he said.