Muscat: The six-member Omani team which calls itself, the “Footsteps of Ancestors,” is set to venture out on their second trip to West Asia and Eastern Europe by road this weekend – June 22. The plan is to cover — starting from Oman to UAE — Iran, Azerbaijan and to the final destination of Georgia.
“Our objective is to continue the spirit of exploring our ancestors. Our first journey was in 2016 and it was to Tanzania going from Oman by United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania,” explained team member Ahmed Saud al Sibani.
They took one month to cross almost 10,000 km of the journey and then flew back to Muscat while their vehicles were shipped back. This time, however, they want to come back by road but through another route.
“For the last 20 years we have been travelling within Oman, but the group was officially established in October 2016 with the inaugural journey was to Tanzania. We visited many places in each country. Our goal is to introduce Oman and its people to others as well as share the peaceful message of Islam. Our objective is to discover countries by road,” added Ahmed.
After the first trip they decided to do the journeys every two to three years because the preparation had to be made with immaculate details.
“The vehicles should be ready for the long distance driving. As in the previous trip we drove more than 10,000 km. We take as many spare parts as possible, as well as camping gears and food supplies especially water. We also have to bear in mind the fueling of the vehicles too,” explained Ahmed.
If their ancestors crossed the ocean to explore, the modern team does it with their vehicles. They have three vehicles and each one of them is 4×4 vehicles (Land Rover, Land Cruiser and Toyota Pickup). But they are not the normal 4×4 as they are modified.
Each member of the team has a responsibility. The team leader is Fahad Said al Sibani, the assistant leader and the mechanic in charge is Amjad Said al Sibani, planning and mapping is led by Saul Suleiman al Kindi, finance and navigation is managed by Usama Said al Sibani, Media and editing by Suleiman Ali al Kindi, while the blogger and communications head is Ahmed Saud al Kindi.
“We are going for a long journey so everything has to be organized. This time again we will start the normal route – from Oman to UAE. From Sharjah we will take the ferry to Iran. We will drive through Shiraz and through Tehran, head for Azerbaijan border and drive to Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital and then go to Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. From Georgia our plan is to come back to the same countries but through different routes. For example, we will be going to Iran from Southwest but when we come back we will be taking the northeast route. It will give us an opportunity to look at the Caspian Sea as well,” he said.
The preparation and documentation has taken the team a whole year. “It is easy to fly to countries but there is a lot of work when it comes to driving through the borders. Our grandfathers traveled widely and we want to continue their journey,” concluded Ahmed.