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FTW Her Excellency Mrs Asma Al Assad rides for peace in Syria

‘Follow the Women – Women for Peace’ cycle ride
Syria – Lebanon – Palestine - Jordan
April 7th-19th, 2007

For immediate release
Sunday, April 8th, 2007

HER EXCELLENCY MRS ASMA AL-ASSAD JOINS
LEG OF ‘WOMEN FOR PEACE’ RIDE IN UGARIT

Riders arrive in Lattakia by special peace train from Aleppo;
Syria’s first lady welcomes international women to Syria

LATTAKIA (Syria): Her Excellency Mrs Asma Al-Assad, Syria’s first lady and wife of President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria, welcomed the 249 female riders taking part in the 2007 ‘Follow the Women – Women for Peace’ cycle ride into Ugarit, on Syria’s Mediterranean coast, on Easter Sunday.

A keen supporter of Middle East peace causes, Her Excellency rode Sunday’s punishing 40km section alongside riders from the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland and many other countries.

There are three main reasons why Her Excellency Mrs Asma Al-Assad gave her support to this valuable cause. ‘Follow the Women’ is a way of promoting international dialogue between the West and the East through peaceful means.

She also admitted that it was great to see women from many different countries communicating and learning about each other’s cultures in this way and the ride offered a way of highlighting the problems in the world, particularly in the Middle East, through a sporting and peaceful manner.

Her Excellency was also delighted to welcome international women to Syria, who had travelled at their own expense, and hoped that they enjoyed their stay and that the trip was beneficial. She thanked main sponsor, the Syrian Family Affairs Commission, the ‘Follow the Women’ organisation and Areeba, sponsors and main organisers of the event.

The 2007 ‘Follow the Women – Women for Peace’ event started from Aleppo on Saturday morning and is due to finish in Amman on Thursday, April 19th, after passing through Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. Sunday afternoon’s punishing 40km ride crossed undulating agricultural terrain between Ugarit and Um Altur in the Lattakia region. Riders from 30 countries had arrived in Lattakia from Aleppo on a specially chartered peace train on Sunday morning.

“We are proud that our first lady, Her Excellency Mrs Asma Al-Assad, gave her support to this invaluable cause,” said Fares Kalles, public relations manager for main sponsor Areeba. “This year’s event has attracted superb support from all corners of the world.”

Ends

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www.followthewomen.com



Date issued: 08/04/2007

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