Brave Qatar resident enters Marathon des Sables

Ziyad Rahim, Head of Market Risk at Barwa Bank, who will be competing in the Marathon
Des Sables (MDS) from 6 April – 16 April 2012. As a participant, Ziyad will
raise money and awareness for the cure of NOMA, an acute and ravaging gangrenous
infection affecting the face. The victims of NOMA are mainly children under the
age of six who are caught in a vicious circle of extreme poverty and chronic
malnutrition in Africa.

The only competitor from Qatar to attempt the 2012 edition of MDS, Barwa Bank was especially keen to support Ziyad to take part in this grueling marathon; considered to be the toughest foot race on Earth. Participants cover 251km of the Moroccan Sahara desert over six days in temperatures averaging 50 degrees centigrade throughout the day. The
terrain varies between uneven rocky grounds to soft sand dunes reaching as high
as 1,000 feet. Part of the entry fee will go towards the cure for NOMA.

Mr.Steve Troop, Chief Executive Officer of Barwa Bank said, “We are all so inspired by what Ziyad is endeavoring to do and wanted to show our support, both in him as our fellow colleague and also for a cure of this awful and debilitating infectious disease, NOMA. This is a truly heart rending cause, with more than 126,000 people dying each year, mainly in sub-Saharan countries.” Mr Troop went onto say, “I know that Ziyad is
already training extremely hard for this unbelievable challenge and on behalf
of everyone at Barwa Bank would like to let him know that we are extremely
proud of him and wish him all the best for the marathon”.

The challenges of the race together with the objective towards charitable and humanitarian initiatives align perfectly with the vision of Barwa Bank as a Shari’ah compliant bank. All the proceeds from the race and fundraising will help to send medical teams to treat patients suffering with NOMA by performing reconstructive surgery. In order to achieve this aim, Ziyad will have to carry everything on his back for “survival” throughout the race, including all personal belongings, food for the entire event, sleeping bag, headlamp, distress flare, survival knife, stove and an anti-venom kit.

Ziyad commented on the challenge, “I’m currently on a six month training program for
MDS which includes strength training, daily runs in the city and the desert. In order to prepare for the race, I have so far completed Colombo, Amman, Aqaba, Beirut, Reggio Emilia, Pisa and Dubai marathons within the space of 3 months (incl. 4 marathons in 4 consecutive weeks). My final two races prior to MDS would be Wadi Bih 72K ultra in man and Kilimanjaro Marathon in Tanzania.  I think living in Qatar provides me an advantage over some of the other competitors, as the terrain in Qatar is similar to what runners will experience in the Sahara Desert. Moreover, being the only participant from Qatar, having the full support of my fellow colleagues, family and the country as a whole will be a major boost in helping me complete the event”.

Ziyad concluded, “I would like to thank Barwa Bank for its support and in helping me raise money for my charity. I hope my fundraising efforts will generate enough funds to help make life better for children who are affected by this disease.”

We at Fitness Qatar wish Ziyad all the best.  Check out his facebook page here!/pages/Z-Marathon/226745840675209

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