By Mudassir Raja
Sports bring people of different origins together and create a healthy competition in a friendly atmosphere. However, there are certain sports events that are carried out in a friendly spirit with no sense of competition.
Qatar has not only been supporting sport activities but also different sport hobbies and passions pursued by different segments of the society. Riding heavy bikes is considered a costly activity and many expatriates only find it possible to pursue their dream while living in Qatar.
The recent manifestation of how much people take interest in heavy and sports bikes was observed when 70 expatriate bike riders from four different countries came together to show solidary with their host country and highlight the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In a first of its kind event, Qatar-based bike riders from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei enjoyed a road trip from Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor to Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah. The bikers then rode to Holiday Villa Hotel where a cultural and musical event was organised to celebrate the bike ride.
The event named as ‘Riders Nusantara 2019’ was organised by the Malaysian Association of Qatar (MAQ) in collaboration with the Embassy of Malaysia in Qatar. The 70 riders were seen off by a large gathering of their families, friends and compatriots. The riding event was also sponsored by Harley Davidson in Doha.
After a long ride, the bikers gathered at the hotel where cultural performances by Qatar-based Indonesian and Malaysian artist groups amused the large gathering of expatriates from the four countries. The people were served with delectable and traditional Malaysian cuisine in the dinner. Through a luck draw, different awards were also distributed among the winners. The event continued late in the night as the people from the four East Asian countries continued enjoying every moment of it.
Mohamed Shahir Sabarudin, Charge d’affaires Embassy of Malaysia in Qatar, who was chief guest on the occasion, said that he was happy that MAQ had organised many activities for the Malaysian community for the last three to four years. The embassy has extended its full support to the event so that all these four Asean countries showcase the activities to support Qatar to promote Supreme Committee Delivery & Legacy for the 2022 FIFA World Cup journey, he added.
Talking to Community after the event, Ayman A Mohamadali, General Mnaager Harley Davidson, expressed his enthusiasm and support for the biking event. “It is very necessary to support such events as most of the riders use Harley Davidson bikes. I am happy to be with one of the biggest groups of bikers in Doha. We want to show that it is very important to support such groups wherever they go in Qatar. Harley Davidson is like their home. We have always been aiming for their safety and unity.”
Mohamed Redzuan Nordin, President of MAQ, always look for ways to bring the Malaysian people together. ‘MAQ’s motto is to bring our people together. Previously, we have three such community events. These events were done with the bike riders from Malaysia only. This time we thought to bring the bikers from four South East Asian countries as we speak the same language. We call it Nusantara that means the same archipelago.
“We have very good sponsors and the programme has concluded successfully. In the cultural show, we had traditional dances from Malaysia and Indonesia. There were some music performances that the gathering enjoyed with enthusiasm.”
Dody Pramono, who works with the Embassy of Brunei in Qatar, rode his bike with the group. “I have been in Qatar since 2005. I developed interest in motorbikes when I was quite young. Here, with the riders’ group we have relations like a family.
“I really enjoyed the ride in a big group and hope that we will have more such evening in coming days.”
Zahirin bin Idros is from Singapore and have been working and living in Qatar since 2012. He started riding bike only after moving to Qatar. “I got the opportunity here to buy my own BMW bike. Riding the bike really releases my tension. Whenever I feel stress, I ride my bike and it de-stresses me. Here it was great experience to ride together. We have learnt a lot from each other.”
Roso Widodo, an Indonesian expatriate who has been in Qatar since 2008, has been enjoying riding motorbikes since his college days. “I have also travelled in different European countries on a Harley Davidson bike. Being on bike, I feel I am very young. I really enjoyed riding in the group.”
Zulkifli Mohd Zin, a Malaysian bike rider and chairman of the event, said: “We are supporting the FIFA World Cup 2022. We got together the four countries as we all are neighbours. We also organised a beautiful cultural programme to end the long ride. This is just to show our support for the FIFA World Cup.”
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