Cleric Imam Mohamad Jebara will cycle for more than 500 km from Ottawa to Quebec City to raise awareness on heart health and raise funds for The Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Jebara, also known as the “Cycling Cleric”, is the Chief Imam and Resident Scholar at the Cordova Spiritual Education Centre. He will start on his journey after offering a congregational prayer on Friday at the headquarters of the charity Human Concern International.
The cleric, who is not a trained athlete and has chronic back pain, said that he wants to take this journey and teach people that with perseverance and effort, anyone can overcome even the greatest obstacles. The Imam believes that “a healthy life includes a healthy heart both physically and spiritually. This cycle is a humble initiative … to raise awareness of this principle”.
Since the beginning of the year, the “Cycling Cleric” team has been painstakingly planning and organizing a workable system to make the initiative a reality. Plenty of research has gone into planning the route, training, foreseeing possible dangers, gathering equipment, sponsors and logistics. Tirelessly encouraging organizations, institutions and community leaders to lead by example and work with them, the Cycling Cleric has gained lots of support, including Bushtukah Great Outdoor Gear, Carleton University, Trillium Gift of Life and local faith groups.
The Cordova Spiritual Education Center is a not-for-Profit Canadian organization whose mission is to “establish understanding, leading to respect, friendship and love, through interfaith/intercultural outreach, dialogue and education; practically promoting social responsibility; and providing essential social services”.
Imam Jebara was selected by the CBC for the annual human library because of his “unique expertise as one of North America’s youngest and most accomplished Islamic scholars”. He has been nominated for a place in the 500 most influential Muslims in the world, the Order of Canada, the Queen’s Jubilee Award and the Order of Ontario.
The “Cycling Cleric” will set off on Friday at 1:00 p.m. after attending Friday prayers, at 877 Shefford Road, Ottawa.