“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”

Albert Einstein’s words ring true now more than ever for the Lebanese community. 

The Beirut blast on August 4, 2020 broke hearts everywhere as it took over 200 lives, injured more than 6,000 and displaced around 300,000, forcing people into poverty and leaving them destitute.

The catastrophic blast aggravated existing vulnerabilities in a nation already suffering from a public health crisis with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the worst economic fallout in the country’s history. 

United in grief, thousands of Lebanon’s people took to the streets just one day after the blast. Mazen Hanna, a child of the Lebanese diaspora was inspirited by the strength and resilience of his homeland.

 An avid cyclist, Mazen partnered with Steps of Hope to launch the campaign, ‘Pedals of Hope.’

On August 16, 2020, a total of 83 riders biked for Beirut at Bicentennial Park, Sydney. The participants offered financial support through personal sponsorships, as well as donations of $1 for every kilometre cycled. 

The tyranny of distance that has accompanied the pandemic, isolating those most vulnerable from physical care became a theme marking the Pedals of Hope mission. For Pedals of Hope, distance marked milestones through giving back monetary and emotional support to those most in need. However, it also marked the challenge.  Organiser, Mazen Hanna said, “Cyclists are advised to choose a distance which removes them from their comfort zone. This will allow them to mimic the pain that their community in Lebanon are enduring.” 

A goal was set to raise $10,000. Yet, with incredible dedication from all those involved, Pedals of Hope raised an awe-inspiring $16,113.00. 

Help Lebanon’s ride to recovery and donate here. 

Steps of Hope rebuilds Lebanese Autism Society
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