LOS ANGELES "“ Muhamad Muqharabbin Mokhtarrudin, an inspired 25-year-old Malaysian man, will embark this week on an arduous journey few have attempted before. He plans to run and bike across the United States from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., starting Thursday, July 12, 2007.
Mokhtarrudin, or Qobin as he is known to family and friends, is making the United States the first leg of his journey around the world. He plans to bike and run in 20 countries in 300 days, across North America, Asia and Europe. Qobin is undertaking this expedition in order to spread a message of peace. He also wants inspire others push themselves to achieve their goals and dreams.
“As a Malaysian, I believe very strongly in the power of multi-ethnic and multi-cultural harmony,” said Qobin. “We have a very peaceful country that maintains stability and progress between its many different races, religions and cultures, and my goal is to shed light on the balance and cooperation that we have.”
Qobin will stop in 14 or 15 major cities from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. In addition to the start and end cities, he will visit Flagstaff (Ariz.), Albuquerque (N.M.), Santa Fe (N.M.), Amarillo (Texas), Oklahoma City (Okla.), Little Rock (Ark.), Memphis (Tenn.), Nashville (Tenn.), Atlanta (Ga.), Charlotte (N.C.), Greensboro (N.C.), and Richmond (Va.), with a possibility of stopping in Phoenix (Ariz.). In addition, Qobin hopes to stop at various universities as he traverses the country in order to lead seminars and participate in discussions with students and faculty about the importance of racial diversity.
This trip is also sponsored by Tourism Malaysia, which will track and update on Qobin’s progress through the United States and beyond on its Web site, found at www.tourismmalaysiausa.com. The year 2007 is especially significant for the exotic country as it celebrates its 50th golden anniversary of independence.
In 2004, Qobin became the youngest Southeast Asian, as well as the youngest Muslim, to scale the peak of Mount Everest. For this and other accomplishments, the Honorable Sultans of Terengganu and Selangor awarded him the Special Achievement Titles of Anugerah Ahli Setia Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Yang Kehormat (A.M.Z.) and Anugerah Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (P.J.K.), respectively. Qobin is also the author of the bi-lingual English and Malaysian books ‘Journey to Everest’ and ‘From Peak to Peak,’ and is a graduate of Universiti Teknologi Mara (Mara University of Technology) in Selangor.