By Jonathan Walsh
By Jonathan Walsh
Rabat – Moroccan-born man Khalil Ibrahim Hamzaoui aims to complete a tour of France by wheelchair.
From a young age, Hamzaoui has suffered from polio, though the effects of the disease have not stopped him from pursuing his goals.
Now 33-years-old, he hopes to embark on a Tour de France-style wheelchair expedition of France in May and June of this year in order to physically challenge himself and to collect data for his PhD dissertation at the Lille University of Science and Technology, where he studies computer science.
With the aim of travelling to 33 universities around the country, Hamzaoui hopes he will be able to inspire people suffering from similar disabilities to follow their ambitions regardless of the obstacles placed in their way. At the same time, the trip will allow Hamzaoui to collect invaluable data that relates to his dissertation.
“Traveling is a pleasure,” Hamzaoui writes on this website. “With a scientific goal, it’s a motivation. With the presence of [a] handicap, it’s a challenge.”
The Mountain Electric Wheelchair (MEW), the chair that Hamzaoui will use for his tour, is specially designed to tackle off-road terrains and uses battery power to do so.
According to Hamzaoui, a daily target of 100 kilometers will take around five hours at the chair’s speed of 20 kilometers per hour.
The wheelchair itself costs €5,000, and the total cost of the trip is €36,500. Funding has been generous, and Hamzaoui has received €17,250 in grants from various institutions such as Lille University and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).
Those interested in donating to Hamzaoui’s campaign can follow the link below:
Edited by Kelsey Fish