French Muslim, Neil Dauxois, was greeted by many Palestinians in Jerusalem after he walked 3,900 kilometres (2423 miles) in 10 months to reach Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Dauxois, 26, a French Muslim of Algerian descent, set off on foot from France 10 months ago to reach Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.
Dauxois passed through 10 countries, including Turkiye, to reach his destination.
Dauxois travelled through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Cyprus and Jordan. He told Anadolu that his adventure was “sometimes good, but very difficult at times.”
The young Muslim highlighted the hospitality shown by people in different countries during his journey.
“When I was in Turkiye, people were very kind and hospitable. If it weren’t for their help, I would have given up,” Dauxois added.
“I faced more difficulties in places where people were not hospitable,” Dauxois stated.
Dauxois also spoke of the hard times he faced walking through certain regions during cold weather.
“All alone, I managed to go through many places safely, thanks to kind local people. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Welcome to Jerusalem
After the news of Dauxois’ journey spread, Palestinians of all ages showed up to meet him.
Dauxois said he was pleasantly surprised by the reception given by Palestinians.
“People welcomed me with sincere hospitality. I am very happy to be here. I cannot put my joy into words,” Dauxois stated.
“Many Palestinians here invited me to their homes, I’m very surprised, yet very happy,” he added.
Dauxois also talked of his family’s support for his adventure.
“My mother was worried, but after seeing me in videos on social media, she told me she was proud of me,” Dauxois said.
He stated that he had visited Al-Aqsa Mosque four years ago.
“I know the situation here. I have many Palestinian friends who cannot visit this place,” he stated.
Dauxois renewed Muslims’ support for the Palestinian cause, noting that Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem are “always on their mind”.
The young Muslim traveller said his next goal is “to go for Hajj to Mecca in a month and a half.”
“People in Saudi Arabia are also following me. I would love to receive their help on my next journey,” Dauxois said.