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A big happy family

October 10th, 2011 by Enas Khedair


When my alarm rang at 6am I was awake and excited but I wasn’t surprised at my energy because I had been counting down the days for this moment. I was the first person to get to the meeting point at Victoria and slowly we all started to gather only recognising each other through the rucksacks and sportswear, we all immediately clicked. The train journey was magical all introducing ourselves to what would turn into our support system of the day. The walk began at Glynde and at one point people were skipping with joy, we were eating berries and plums from bushes, patting horses and feeding sheep it was truly an unexpected surprise to the day.

After passing little cottages with bags of fruit, eggs and milk at their door for sale, their trusting community was liberating. The sun was shining and we reached the top of the steepest hill I have ever had to climb it was challenging and we all thanked god it was at the beginning of the trek! The view from the top was astonishing and the wind was blowing beautifully we all appreciated nature at that point. We continued to walk up and down hills, over piles of faeces (that got bigger and bigger as time went on). Lunch time arrived and we all sat together on the floor, walls, pavements, benches in a small square in the village. Our spirits still heightened as we recharged with typical Iraqi food, from kebabs, zaytoon, kuba, and general sandwiches. No one knew who’s food was who’s it became one big picnic and we were probably all eating nonstop for 30minutes straight; and food had never tasted so good!

We continued the walk and it was a complete anticipation on where the coast is and how amazing was the view going to be?!? Then the rain started to pour and would not stop, it got stronger and wilder as we continued to walk up and down cliffs. Most were embracing it not caring how soaked they were getting, how dirty and muddy their trainers got and how difficult the turn in weather conditions made the walk; all we cared about was the coast!!! A fellow walker took out a back of starburst and at that point we all hyped up again and started to pick up our pace and eventually the coast appeared, unfortunately the weather was so severe we could hardly appreciate the beauty of the moment – still completely worth it and a memory imprinted in all our hearts.

After our third and intermission we continued... with each break, came a different group, a different conversation, and a new addition to what came to be a big happy family. Next approached what became the worst part of the journey, as we were walking down mud slides and a few of slipped and rushed to each other’s aid, once we finally arrived to the station and the finish line it was a mixture of pure relief, happiness, pride and slight sadness. It was over and we were all celebrating , singing, screaming and congratulating each other. We boarded the train saying goodbye to Seaford and the magical day that was the 10th September 2011 Walk for Iraq. The most overwhelming part of the entire experience is how we all feel like new people and are still in contact; we exchanged numbers, emails, Facebook profiles and still working together to raise our £20,000 target and we won’t rest until we do – support, dedication, pride, strength, ambition and joy are just a few words used to describe the feelings after Walk for Iraq which is why I would recommend it to everyone.


Enas Khedair

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